Politics & Government

Florida's Crist dismisses criticism from Republicans

Gov. Charlie Crist dismissed Republican discontent with his embrace of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan Saturday, saying he was acting on "what's good for the people."

Gathering in the capital for the winter meeting of the National Governors' Association, governors who back the plan – most of them Democrats – pointed to Crist and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's support for the plan as evidence that it has bipartisan support in some bigger states hit by the economic downturn.

"Just to note for the record . . . Florida and California have Republican governors who strongly support the stimulus package," Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, a Democrat who chairs the National Governors' Association, told reporters.

Crist has proposed spending a big part of the stimulus money in the state's next budget and brushed off suggestions that his support for the stimulus package has sparked the ire of fellow Republicans.

"I don't sense that so much," he said. "People disagree, that's healthy, that's democracy. But I have to do in my heart what's good for the people and I think this bill is great for the people. People have different points of view, I respect that."

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