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Crist leaves door open to challenging DeSantis for Florida governor

Rep. Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristUniversally panned '60 Minutes' hit piece on DeSantis just made him a 2024 frontrunner Biden clean electricity standard faces high hurdles House Democrats introduce carbon pricing measure MORE (D-Fla.) on Sunday would not rule out a run against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisFlorida newspaper blasts DeSantis's ban on COVID-19 passports: 'Makes no sense' Buttigieg hopes cruises will return by mid-summer The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip MORE (R), saying he was open to considering a bid for the governor's mansion in Tallahassee.

Crist previously served as the Sunshine State's governor from 2007 to 2011.

"Have some people suggested that I should contemplate potentially running for Governor next year? Yes, they have. While it doesn’t get much of my attention in my brain right now, it is something that I would be open to," Crist, who served in the governor's mansion as a Republican and then independent before moving to the Democratic Party in 2012, told CBS Miami's Jim DeFede.

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Crist unsuccessfully challenged Republican Gov. Rick Scott in the state's 2014 gubernatorial election.

Despite the gubernatorial bid discussion, the congressman said his top priority at the moment was dealing with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 26,000 people in the state.

“I’m focused on dealing with the COVID crisis, the economic crisis, helping the Biden administration get on their feet and move well and make it so that less people are dying and more people can be employed in a good way, develop infrastructure,” he said. 

Crist hit DeSantis over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, specifically the vaccine rollout in the Sunshine State.

“It’s as if there was no plan in place, and I don’t believe that there was. It’s not as if ... this was a surprise that the vaccine was coming,” Christ said. “You know it’s coming. You’ve got to be prepared.”

Crist's comments come after White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden eyes bigger US role in global vaccination efforts Florida newspaper blasts DeSantis's ban on COVID-19 passports: 'Makes no sense' Libertarian writer Robby Soave details concerns with 'vaccine passports' MORE said last week that Florida has only used half of its coronavirus vaccines from the federal government. 

DeSantis pushed back on Psaki's remarks, calling them "disingenuous." 

“We’re pretty much going through the first doses, and I think that’s really what you need,” he said.