As Gov. Charlie Crist stepped up to the podium at Michael’s On East, the entire room erupted in a standing ovation.
Crist, now running for U.S. senate, was the guest speaker at the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club luncheon Oct. 7.
He hit on familiar themes such as why he split from the Republican party to run as an independent and cited gridlock and finger-pointing between the two major political parties.
“You know it’s crazy when a Democratic president proposes tax cuts, and Republicans say ‘no,’" he said.
Crist fielded questions from Tiger Bay Club members, including one who asked with which party would Crist caucus if elected.
“I’ll caucus with the people of Florida,” he said. “I’ll ask tough questions of both parties, and depending on the answers, I’ll decide which to go with. Or go with neither one.”
The governor, who grew up in St. Petersburg, fielded a question on oil drilling and drew a laugh in the process. He said if elected he will continue to oppose drilling in state waters.
“I’m a Gulf Coast guy,” he said. “I’m the only candidate who is. So, send your homeboy up (to Washington).”
Current polls show the gap widening between Crist and his Republican opponent Marco Rubio. A RealClearPolitics.com average of six of the most well-known political polls shows Rubio with 42%, Crist with 31% and Democrat Kendrick Meeks with 20%. The rest are undecided.
Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].