Is Mitt Romney too close to former Florida Governor and failed U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist? Look at his organization in Florda and the answer could easily be yes.
NewsMax says Romney has hired many of Crist's top political advisors - the same people who urged Crist to run as a moderate in the face of a challenge for U.S. Senate from Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio. That dymanic could be in play again.
To some, the Florida race has all the markings of a repeat of the Crist-Rubio showdown. Veteran political strategist Roger Stone tells Newsmax that the Romney campaign has been “tone deaf when it comes to conservatives.”
So far, Romney’s national campaign playbook has been eerily similar to Crist’s strategy, embracing swing, middle-of-the-road voters while keeping the GOP’s conservative base at a distance.
Gingrich will have to play the Rubio underdog role adroitly, however, given that the primary election is only a little more than one week away. Gingrich hasn’t run a single ad in Florida, though Romney has been barraging the state with 30-second ads for weeks. Before South Carolina, polls showed Gingrich trailing Romney in the Sunshine State.
But as the Crist-Rubio paradigm indicates, things can change quickly in Florida.
“Crist never took Rubio seriously because Rubio had no name ID,” Stone recalls. “Charlie was universally known, with a 73 percent approval, and said ‘conservative’ with every other word out of his mouth.”
But Florida voters saw through the spin and viewed Crist as too moderate for their taste.