The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire isn’t quite convinced that Charlie Crist won’t run as an independent.
Unnamed Crist advisers told the Wire that Crist would explain doubling-back on his promise to run as a Republican, and attempt to position himself in the political center, thusly:
–The governor would retain his personal Republican Party registration, thus fulfilling the promise that he would be “running as a Republican.” He could describe himself as a “Republican independent” while appearing on the November ballot as “no party affiliation.”
–He would note that the strong denial came from his campaign manager, not him.
–He would use the remaining days of this year’s regular legislative session – plus potential special sessions – to issue provocative vetoes and policy pronouncements that position him at the political center. (This could begin Friday, the deadline for Crist to decide whether to veto an education bill pushed by former Florida. Gov. Jeb Bush and state Republican Party Chairman John Thrasher. We’re told that Crist might also look to score some points with Florida seniors over a Medicaid overhaul package backed by the GOP.)