Crist highlights high-speed rail in announcing Florida bid

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Republican-turned-Democratic candidate Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristCook Political Report moves 9 House races toward Dems Ex-GOP lawmaker: Takeaway from Pa. special election is ‘Madam Speaker’ Florida House Republican won’t seek reelection MORE criticized Gov. Rick Scott (R) for rejecting high-speed rail money from the Obama administration in his gubernatorial campaign announcement Monday.

Crist, who served as governor from 2007-2011, announced he was challenging Scott in 2014, as a Democrat. Crist switched parties after he left the gubernatorial mansion.

During the announcement, Crist twice noted that Scott rejected $2.4 billion that Florida was offered to build a high-speed railway between Orlando and Tampa that had been sought for years by state leaders.

The quashed railway will to play a central role in the clash between Crist and Scott because the newly minted Democratic candidate campaigned for the money when he served as governor.

Crist foreshadowed the high-speed rail attack in an interview last week with the News Service of Florida before his announcement Monday.  

"Unbelievable. That could have created tens of thousands of jobs," he said of the stalled high-speed rail proposal.

"Have you driven on I-4? I wonder if he has," Crist continued in the interview. "He doesn't have to. He flies over it in his jet. How does he have a clue what we're feeling? It's hard to have empathy if you haven't suffered like that and been on I-4. I'm on it once a week, man."

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