When Charlie Crist stood on stage with President Obama in February I wonder if Crist had any idea that he'd actually be running for Senate. As a popular incumbent running for re-election the political risk would be lessened. Well, the risk of standing with a popular, newly elected president who won your state while supporting an economic program your state desperately needs is only a risk when you have to come face to face with the hard-liners in your own party. 

Charlie Crist's Lame Attempt To Distance Himself From Obama

Now that he's an official senate candidate facing a primary and a lack of enthusiasm amongst conservatives with a capitol C he's going to have to do some damage control. Especially since Marco Rubio is running ads that prominently feature a picture of Crist hugging Obama

So today, our Governor took to the op-ed page of the Tampa Tribune in an attempt to distance himself from the economic policies of Barack Obama. 

I oppose the president's budget proposals, in particular his willingness to increase the top tax rate on personal income from 35 to 39.6 percent. I am publicly asking him to withdraw these tax increase proposals, considering the structural damage higher tax rates will do to the long-term growth potential of our nation's economy.

In addition, the president's plan will severely increase our national debt. Even with the increase in federal revenues resulting from higher taxes and a planned military withdrawal from Iraq, the smallest annual deficit we will see in the next 10 years is $533 billion in 2013.

Charlie also touts his own conservative record:

But let there be no doubt - I am a fiscal conservative. Since I took office two years ago, we have cut state spending by $7 billion, lowered property taxes by an estimated $25 billion over five years and created innovative no-cost solutions like the Florida Discount Drug Card and Cover Florida Health Care Plan.

We're not economics majors by any means, but only cutting spending by $7 billion while cutting property taxes by $25 billion doesn't exactly add up. Obviously we weren't left with an $18 billion budget hole, but we were left with a budget hole close to $3 billion this year. One that forced the legislature in to a special session.

And perhaps if Charlie's economic views work he wouldn't have needed to stand with Obama supporting a stimulus package that would save his ass in the first place. 

At the end of the day, wing-nuts aren't buying it. 

The super-conservatives at National Review's The Corner blog for one think Charlie's op-ed has more to do with positioning himself to the right during a primary rather than a true reflection of his actual political values. 

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