Rick Scott’s re-election campaign is slamming likely Democratic candidate Charlie Crist in a memo to campaign supporters.
In the memo obtained by the Scripps/Tribune Capitol Bureau, Tim Saler, the deputy campaign manager, said Scott, a Naples Republican, has led an incredible economic recovery. In the years since Scott was elected, Saler said Floridians have “worked hard to turn the state’s economy around and they’ve done it with a governor who wants to help empower them to succeed.”
The campaign takes aim at Crist, saying the Democrat “has morphed several more times, emerging as a liberal Democrat.”
Crist faces state Sen. Nan Rich in Tuesday’s primary election. Crist, the former Republican governor, served from 2007 until 2011.
He did not run for re-election in 2010, instead deciding to run for Senate. While he initially planned to run as a Republican, Crist was dropped out of the Republican race and instead ran as an independent. He campaigned heavily for President Barack Obama in 2012, speaking at the Democratic National Convention .
He became a Democrat in 2012 and announced his bid for governor in November 2013.
Saler said Crist is expected to beat Rich in Tuesday’s primary, with a recent poll showing Crist leading Rich 61-14 in a head-to-head race. Saler said it’s expected that Democrats can bring in several thousand more primary votes compared to Republicans.
Despite the campaign’s belief that Crist will win the primary, Saler said the campaign is convinced Scott is “well-positioned for re-election in the fall.”
“Charlie Crist has collapsed, and Governor Scott has asserted his position as the leading candidate entering the fall campaign,” said Saler in the memo. “Crist has no history of recovering from failure in his campaigns.”
Brendan Gilfillan, a spokesman for Crist, said the Crist campaign is focused on “building a real grassroots operation.”
“While they set new lows for the negativity of their special-interest funded television ads and write memos congratulating themselves on their awesomeness, we’re focused on building a real grassroots operation supported by tens of thousands of everyday contributors,” he said. “And we hope everyone votes on Tuesday.”