Crist says he has no regrets about accepting federal stimulus funds

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) said he has no regrets about accepting stimulus funds for his state.

Crist, who's locked in a very competitive primary challenge from his right being waged by former Florida state House Speaker Marco Rubio (R), defended accepting assistance from the $787 billion Recovery Act signed into law a year ago.

Accepting stimulus money was the "responsible, right thing to do," Crist told reporters at the White House on Monday.

"It puts people above politics," Crist said.

When asked about whether he had any regrets, Crist said he had "none whatsoever."

"I don't apologize for it at all," Crist added. "It was the right thing to do. We needed the money."

Crist's self-defense comes as Democrats seek to go after Republicans who had opposed the stimulus only to have touted projects to result from the act.

Crist was one of the few Republican political figures in the country to openly back the stimulus package, having notably appeared with President Barack Obama in Florida last year to promote the stimulus.

Rubio has used Crist's support for the stimulus as a cudgel in his conservative challenge to the governor in Florida's Senate GOP primary.

Crist shot back at his primary challenger, whom some polls have showed him trailing, saying Rubio's criticism is irrelevant.

"It doesn't matter. Not one iota," Crist said. "He's wrong, and I'm right."


Cross-posted to the Briefing Room.

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