Politics

Beruff Dodges Questions About Prior Support for Charlie Crist

Carlos Beruff repeatedly dodged questions Friday about his prior support for Charlie Crist that was reported on this week by the Washington Free Beacon.

Beruff is challenging incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) in the Florida GOP Senate primary. A tracker asked him why he and his companies gave money more than 30 times to Crist, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat ex-governor of Florida.

Beruff chuckled and said, "Are you a journalist now, man?"

The tracker then asked twice why Beruff didn't ask for his donations back when Crist switched his affiliation to independent to run against Rubio for the Senate in 2010, even after he lost to Rubio in the GOP primary. Beruff continued to support him despite his ditching the Republican Party.

Beruff got in his car and drove off without answering.

The Free Beacon reported:

Beruff donated $4,800 to Crist’s Senate campaign against Marco Rubio in 2010 and is now challenging the Florida senator in the Republican primary.

Beruff’s financial support for Crist goes back as far as the 2006 gubernatorial race, totaling $15,500 from more than a dozen corporate entities where Beruff was listed as president, officer, or trustee.

Each business donated $500, the maximum amount allowed by state law for both the primary and general election at the time.

A pro-Rubio super PAC rolled out an ad this week deriding Beruff as a "Charlie Crist Republican," a shot at Crist's notorious flip-flops on numerous issues.

Crist was elected governor of Florida in 2006 as a Republican. In 2010, he ran for the state's open U.S. Senate seat but was beaten in the GOP primary by Rubio. Crist was later soundly defeated by Rubio in a three-way race after Crist mounted his independent run.

In 2012, Crist switched to the Democratic Party, and he ran again for governor in 2014, this time losing to Rick Scott by less than one percent.