Charlie Crist, Rick Scott trade barbs during South Fla. appearances

Former Republican-turned-Democrat releases jobs plan; Governor calls Crist ‘laughable'

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Former Gov. Charlie Crist laid out his plan to help the middle class by raising the minimum wage, increasing funds for public schools and expanding Medicaid.

Crist said Tuesday that if elected he'll fight for the middle class instead of big corporations. The former Republican turned Democrat took several shots at his opponent, incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott, as he released his "Fair Shot Florida" plan in Fort Lauderdale.

"This is about a million Floridians getting health care that they deserve that Rick Scott has not lifted a finger to get done," Crist said.

Crist's plan echoes steps taken at the federal level by President Barack Obama.

Crist said his opponent tried to slash $3.3 billion from kindergarten through 12th grade education in his first budget and settled for a $1.3 billion cut. Crist vowed to reverse cuts by raising per-child funding to $7,405.79. He also promised to work with lawmakers to raise minimum wage to $10.10 and expand Medicaid under Obama's health law.

Meanwhile, Scott said he has a $1 billion plan to protect Florida's coral reefs, upgrade water in the Keys and save the Everglades. Those are all things that Crist advocated when he was governor.

"When anybody says Charlie Crist and the environment, they should say he had a failed environmental policy," Scott told Local 10 News.

Scott said whatever Crist claims is "laughable."

"This is a guy that whatever he does, you should probably do the opposite," Scott added.

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