In an effort to calm the fears of scores of lobbyists, Gov. Charlie Crist today publicly reassured them that their efforts--and, more importantly, their money--to help get him elected to the US Senate were not expended in vain. Said Crist, "Rest assured that I will continue to be beholden to all those special interest groups that elected me governor of the state of Florida. Except the Republican Party."
"Insurance, banks, health care, developers, sugar growers, phosphate mining, teachers--you name it; if they've got money to spend on Charlie Crist, then Charlie Crist will still have votes to spend on them! Just because I'm now running for the Senate as an "independent" doesn't mean that I'm not still dependent on your money or have independent ideas. Oh, God, no."
"I mean, for example: British Petroleum, I know you're in trouble right now with that oil leak in the Gulf, but if I get a nice-sized contribution from you guys, when I get to Washington, I will introduce legislation to have the Federal government pick up the tab for the clean up. Hey, you guys deserve a bailout as much as the next guy, am I right?"
"I've worked long and hard all these years to curry the favor of big business and other special interest groups and I'm not about to stop kowtowing to them now. In fact, frankly, I'm hoping that my new "independent" status will open up the doors for more big-money lobbyists to throw wads of cash my way."
"The Republican Party decided to take me to task for welcoming Pres. Obama to Florida when he came this past winter with millions in stimulus money. My critics assailed me for hugging him. Look, I've been in politics my whole life and when somebody shows up on your doorstep with millions of dollars, well, let's just say I've done a whole lot more than hugging to show my appreciation. Over the years, I've hugged squealing babies, ugly old ladies, prize-winning pigs, buck-toothed citrus queens and even an alligator or two in my career for a hell of a lot less money than the president brought."
"It was necessary for me to step away from the Republican Party when it became clear that my chances of winning the party's primary election was equal to the chances of my opponent, Marco Rubio, driving through Arizona and NOT getting pulled over to show his proof of citizenship."
"It has not been easy to make this decision, but the old-guard Republican Party left me no choice but to run as an "independent." Two weeks ago, I received a telephone call from House Republican leader, John Boehner, telling me that, in no uncertain tone, was there room in Congress for another Republican with a better tan than his. I knew right then that my only option was to run as a tan "independent." God bless you, Hawaiian Tropic and God bless the state of Florida!"
Reporter: "Governor, any truth to the rumor that Pres. Obama is here for another hug?"
Reporter: "Just kidding, Governor."
Charlie Crist: "OK, now you cut that out! That wasn't even funny......"