Crist Campaign, Unable To Prove Itself Conservative, Tries To Show Rubio Isn't Either

This is really funny. The St. Petersburg Times is painting a picture of Marco Rubio as not a conservative, but a political opportunist.After a week of negative attention and a website designed to paint Rubio as a liberal, Charlie Crist finally had to hire some journalists to do it.

Rubio’s fiscal conservatism was called into question as soon as he assumed the role of speaker. He spent hundreds of thousands on renovations, including a private dining room for lawmakers, hired the highest-paid spokesman in state government (one with no state government experience) and added more than 20 jobs, including a parliamentarian earning nearly $134,000.

The whole article is designed to expose hypocrisy in Rubio’s record, much of it easily explained away. But keep this in mind, here is what the exact same newspaper wrote about Marco Rubio just last year:

Rubio, the young Republican speaker from Miami, has been a particular disappointment…Rubio would have had more success if he had learned from Crist’s populism and willingness to compromise instead of clinging to the hard-edged conservatism of his mentor, former Gov. Jeb Bush.”

But there’s more. The NRA, which supported Dede Scozzafava in NY-23, attacks Rubio.

“He was a big disappointment to us when he was the speaker,” said NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer

Never mind that Rubio has a 100% rating from the NRA, even pushing legislation to prevent employers from barring employees from being guns to work — legislation Crist wavered on.But this is where the smear really goes in depth. The St. Petersburg Times‘ reporters write, “Rubio says he knew nothing about it, but his hand-picked budget chief, Ray Sansom, was able to funnel $35 million to a Panhandle college — actions that led to a grand jury indictment against Sansom.” Here is the exact same newspaper writing on the exact same topic from June of this year: “There’s no evidence Rubio knew that Ray Sansom had budgeted $6 million for a donors’ aircraft hangar in the guise of funding a college educational facility . . . . Gov. Charlie Crist, declined to veto that appropriation despite it being flagged as a ‘turkey’ by Florida TaxWatch.”The rest of the article continues in the same way. The reporters accuse Rubio of some act of liberalism, when just a few months ago the exact same newspaper wrote about the exact same incident saying either Rubio was not involved or decrying his dogmatic conservatism relating to the incident.Charlie Crist must be really desperate to get a bunch of reporters to totally contradict themselves in a matter of months.It’s also really lame.