Back waxing becomes issue in one Senate race

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, trailing in primary, tries novel line of attack

Published March 9, 2010 3:10PM (EST)

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was supposed to have the Republican nomination for his state's open Senate seat locked up by now. Indeed, he was supposed to be waltzing into the seat itself. Instead, he finds himself trailing behind former State House Speaker Marco Rubio, who is running as a conservative alternative. So Crist is getting creative.

The governor was interviewed by Fox News' Greta Van Susteren Monday night. He used the opportunity to attack his opponent over recent revelations that Rubio had been using a Republican Party of Florida credit card for personal expenses, including a haircut. And he took it to a whole new level:

CRIST: He's trying to pawn himself off as a fiscal conservative. And yet just in reason weeks, two weeks ago it has come out in news accounts he had a Republican Party of Florida credit card that he charged $130 haircut, or maybe it was a back wax -- we are not sure what all he got at that place.

VAN SUSTEREN: Wait a second, stop. A back wax? Wait a second.

CRIST: I don't know what it was, you know?

VAN SUSTEREN: I know, but was there a suggestion it was for a back wax or are you being flip?

CRIST: I don't know what it was. Initially we were told it was a haircut. And then he said it wasn't a haircut. Then he had the gall to go on Neil Cavuto's show and said it was his money. It was a credit card from the Republican Party. It was party donors' money.

The detachment from reality is stunning to me. And to try to say that you're a fiscal conservative, yet you spend $130 for maybe a haircut and maybe other things, I don't know what you do at a salon we you are a guy.

I get my haircut for $11 from a guy named Carl the Barber in St. Petersburg, Florida where I grew up. And to me that's real fiscal conservatism.

Crist and his staff are apparently pretty pleased with this line of attack. Tuesday morning, the governor's campaign sent reporters an e-mail blast that featured a partial transcript of the interview.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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2010 Elections Charlie Crist Florida Senate Race Marco Rubio War Room