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Crist Denies Report He's Leaving GOP

Says it's a ploy by rival Marco Rubio
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2010 5:37 PM CST
Crist Denies Report He's Leaving GOP
Former Florida House Speaker and Florida Republican Senate candidate, Marco Rubio addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – The merry-go-round of accusations continues in the Senate race in Florida between Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and his more-conservative rival, Marco Rubio. In the latest, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Crist is ready to ditch the GOP to run as an independent. A Crist spokesman immediately denounced it as a fake story planted by the Rubio camp as retaliation and an attempt to "distract voters," notes Talking Points Memo.

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Retaliation for what? Among other things, today's report in the Miami Herald that Rubio used a state party credit card for personal purchases. (Read a summary here.) Rubio's camp says those allegations were blown way out of proportion and accuse the Crist camp of leaking the records in the first place.
(Read more Charlie Crist stories.)

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