The evidence is mounting daily that Crist will not only bolt the GOP to run as an “independent” (read Democrat lacky), but do so in a manner calculated to cause as much damage to the GOP as possible:
Exhibit 1: Crist has asked for a federal probe of state GOP finances. Crist said “It’s a mess. This thing stinks.” and he stated they should examine the use of party credit cards by top GOP lawmakers. This mirrors his allegations against Crist’s use of a state GOP credit card. It’s pretty clear he wants to give his allegations legs so they’ll run well into the campaign season.
Exhibit 2: His campaign manager has bolted.
Exhibit 3. The Miami Herald is trumping a Quinnipiac poll showing Crist possibly ahead if he runs as an independent in a three-way race. This poll of registered (not likely) voters runs contrary to the recent poll by Rasmussen showing Rubio winning in a walk-away if Crist runs as an independent.
Exhibit 4: After he vetoed the education reform bill, he went to what was effectively a campaign rally held by teachers at a local high school and posed as a “post-political” politician, proclaiming “The people spoke and they spoke loudly. It is the power of people over politics.” and “It has nothing to do with politics at all. It has everything to do with children.” I’m only surprised he didn’t say it would cure world hunger.
After the veto the next speaker of the House, Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, withdrew his endorsement of Crist. So did Rep. John Tobia, R-Satellite Beach. Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, chairman of the state Republican Party, was asked whether Crist is a “real Republican.” His reply: “He’s got an `R’ in back of his name right now.” A somewhat less than glowing comment.
Given what we’ve seen this week we can expect to see Crist coming out and announcing that he’s running as an independent because the state GOP has drifted too far to the right and he’s disillusioned with the corruption of the local GOP. Pointing to his called for federal probe he will claim that he is the candidate of fiscal responsibility.