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Republicans Join Charlie Crist On Tallahassee Book Tour Stop

Regan McCarthy

Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist stopped in Tallahassee Thursday to tout his new book entitled “The Party’s Over.”  It’s one of several combination campaign and book signing stops Crist is making around Florida. And the Republican party has been with the former governor every stop of the way.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry says he's been driving and flying around the state to get to as many of Crist's book signings as he can. On Thursday, he arrived at the book stor where Crist was hawking his book 45 minutes before the former governor did.

“He is out attacking the party that I believe in. So, it’s natural for me to come out and make sure that the truth is told, that our side is told,” Curry said.

And in all that time Curry says he hasn’t had a chance to actually read Crist’s book.  But Florida State University Student Collin Kenline says he finished it in just two days.

“It was an amazing read just because I really enjoyed hearing about his life and hearing about his term as governor and finding out how, even as the cover says finding out how starting with in the Chicago Mercantile exchange the TEA Party got started and how it really radicalized the right and how as a moderate he’s now gone to the left as so many others have,” Kenline said.

One of the main stones the Republican Party officials throw at Crist is his perceived ideological reversal. They’ve also raised questions about Crist’s decision for run for the U.S. Senate instead of seeking a second term as governor four years ago. But Crist says that’s all part of his effort to find ways to work with increasingly polarized parties.

“The thing I’m most proud of in my first term of governor is the fact that we really had a bipartisan approach and a cooperative spirit. And I saw what was happening in Washington. We had brought that spirit here to Tallahasee as you saw. I wanted to try to bring that Florida value to Washington and it didn’t work out and now we may have a chance to bring it back to Tallahassee and now we may have a chance to do it,” Crist said.

And Kenline says he respects the former governor for not sticking with a party that no longer represents his beliefs. And he says getting the chance to talk to Crist while he signed his new book was pretty cool too.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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