Capitalizing on Charlie Crist’s remarks to reporters yesterday, Jim Davis and two top supporters fired back a tough response to his Republican opponent’s late entry into the insurance crisis debate.

“He was absolutely AWOL,” the incoming House minority leader Dan Gelber said during a conference call with political reporters. “As somebody who was there, we really could have used the help.”

On Wednesday, Crist told reporters on his bus that he “probably would” have vetoed the Republican last-minute insurance bill passed earlier this year. That legislation made it easier for insurance companies to raise rates. Today, Crist explained further that he did speak up to oppose a bailout for the state-funded Citizens insurer, but that he wasn’t part of the legislative process and didn’t find it appropriate to intervene. St. Pete Times’ Tallahassee bureau chief Steve Bousquet quoted Crist as saying, “That’s not my style, I’m not a grandstander.”

Given the attorney general's propensity to find himself in front of TV cameras, that is akin to Steve Irwin saying, “I’m not the kind of guy to jump into muddy, crocodile-infested rivers.”

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