The news today that Florida Governor Charlie Crist, who is running for the Senate under an independent banner after conceding that Sunshine State Republicans want nothing further to do with him, is refusing to refund donations from those Republicans who did support him is hardly a surprise.
Crist, whose strange orange complexion and dubious sexuality made him a rather bizarre figure even prior to his literal embrace of President Obama’s stimulus package, had hinted at a prorated refund to donors after he bolted the GOP in the midst of 20-plus point deficits to Marco Rubio in the polls. But today, the Crist campaign released this:
…campaign spokeswoman Michelle Todd said there will be no refunds. Asked if that amounts to a flip-flop, she said, “We have never made an official statement before. It is now the official statement. They donated to the Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Campaign and it’s still the Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Campaign.”
Crist was never going to refund any donations. He had pre-booked campaign ads through to Election Day in the state’s major media markets and it was very apparent that going the independent road would dry up his fundraising.
“People gave to a good cause and we’re going to spend it on a good cause,” Crist said. “That’s why I’m going to keep it. It’s important to be able to get our message out and communicate with the people of Florida.”
But the announcement that refunds are not forthcoming is bound to carry with it major consequences – and major publicity problems. A sample from HotAir’s Allahpundit:
The silver lining is that, just two weeks in, this tool is already so worried about his money well running dry that he’s willing to endure the horrible publicity he’ll get from this in order to keep the dough he’s got. Which means we’re in for plenty more entertainingly desperate moves if, as expected, his candidacy starts to implode down the stretch.
A prediction? Crist’s best poll numbers are behind him. A long, slow (or maybe not so slow) decline will follow.