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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Newt goes after Mitt on using Charlie Crist Staffers

In 2008, the Barack Obama campaign was successfully able to tie John McCain to George W. Bush. Electing John McCain, they said, would be like giving Bush another term. In 2012, Mitt Romney already has to fend off the 'Republican establishment' label and campaigning in Florida with former Charlie Crist campaign staffers in tow is an opportunity Newt Gingrich doesn't appear to be willing to waste.

To further make his case, Gingrich is highlighting the fact that Marco Rubio's former campaign manager is working for him.

Via the Miami Herald:
Newt Gingrich stepped onto a podium at the Tick Tock Restaurant with a hometown message.

"As many of you know Jose Mallea is helping us with our campaign. He was Marco Rubio's campaign manager. We discovered last night that Mitt Romney has picked up Charlie Crist's campaign people," he said to yelps and a few boos. "That sort of tells you everything you needed to know about this contest."

Yes, Crist is still a whipping boy in Republican circles, though he turned out for Monday night's debate.

And, to be fair, Romney has some anti-Crists in his campaign: namely Alberto Martinez and Brett Doster, Florida advisers who worked for Crist's 2006 Republican opponent Tom Gallagher. Doster managed one of now Sen. Marco Rubio's political committees, and Martinez is part of Rubio's inner-circle.
There are definitely hairs to split on who is supporting whom here. In a campaign, however, perception is reality and if Gingrich can capitalize on the perception that he is the anti-establishment candidate who is going against the establishment's choice in Romney, he'll probably do it.

Rubio didn't just overcome long odds at several turns to become Senator in Florida; He ultimately won going away and continues to be very popular.

If Gingrich can portray himself as the Rubio candidate in Florida while portraying Romney as the Crist candidate, the nuances that blur the lines may not matter all that much.

h/t Newsmax

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