Jeb Bush has no love for Charlie Crist.
Crist, the former Republican governor-turned failed independent Senate candidate-turned 2014 Democratic candidate for governor, has been invoking his Republican gubernatorial predecessor a lot lately to explain why he decided to ditch the GOP.
“Jeb Bush said it better than I can say it,” Crist said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week. “He said today’s Republican Party is perceived as being anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay couples, anti-environment, anti-education. I mean, pretty soon, there’s nobody left in the room.”
He said the same thing, in near identical language, on CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live.”
During his media tour for his new book, Crist has even even said Bush would make a fine president.
But the Bush camp doesn’t want anything to do with Crist.
“Charlie Crist is a habitual opportunist with zero credibility,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told The Daily Caller. “Florida voters understood that in 2010 and will once again confirm it in November.”
The animosity between Team Crist and Team Bush is not new — no matter Crist’s recent posturing.
During Florida’s 2010 Senate race, Bush endorsed Marco Rubio, not Crist — though the endorsement came after Crist bolted the Republican Party. But Bush’s son, Jeb Bush Jr., endorsed Rubio early on when Crist was still running as a Republican, which was seen as a signal from Bush world as to which candidate the family was supporting in the Republican primary.
“Charlie Crist has been such a disappointment, because he will shift his position for his own personal ambition,” the elder Jeb Bush said of Crist in 2010 as Election Day approached. “It’s not that he’s serving anybody, it’s serving himself. He’s the most ambitious man I’ve ever met in politics. He believes in absolutely nothing other than — what’s the next step for him in a path.”
With increased speculation that Bush may mount a 2016 campaign for president, the last thing he needs is any association — rhetorical or otherwise — to Charlie Crist.