Is Marco Rubio now backing off supporting SB 6?

Those comments come as the clock continues to tick down for Charlie Crist to make a decision on whether or not he will sign the bill into law.  And as photos of protesting teachers continue to fill the front pages of Florida dailies, isn't the biggest surprise going to be if he doesn't veto SB 6?

Maybe because the noise has been so loud on one side.  The Miami Herald/St. Pete Times reports today that between March 1 and April 12, Crist's office received 15,694 calls, 1,869 letters and more than 18,000 individual e-mails opposing the bill.  How many calling in to support it?  Uh, not very many.  Try 264 calls, 11 letters, and 80 e-mails.

So again, where do you think the governor's head and heart are at at this moment in time?

Badly being out organized, the Palm Beach Post reports that the the Foundation for Florida’s Future — former Gov. Jeb Bushs education group — has now adapted their original television ad to include the Governor's phone number and e-mail address.

Another reason to figure that Crist will veto the bill is the blowback - it may come from legislators already predisposed not to favor him against Marco Rubio, and yet it could gain some Republican votes.  The Governor told the Post yesterday that

he's  heard from as many Republicans opposing the bill as Democrats, citing a stop in The Villages over the weekend where he was inundated by residents there urging a veto.

“It’s pervasive like that, like no other issue I’ve seen before,” he said. “Even more so than the Schiavo thing. It touches so many people in such a significant way and their family members. Everywhere I go that’s all I hear. It’s all I hear.”

Special thanks to William March of the Tampa Tribune, who includes dialogue in his blog post between Marco Rubio and 970 WFLA's Jack Harris Monday morning, when the GOP Senate candidate was asked his thoughts about supporting the number one issue dominating state politics today, Senate Bill 6, better known as the teacher tenure bill.

When Harris first asked Rubio if he would sign or veto the bill, he said, “I have always supported merit pay for teachers. My understanding is there are a handful of things teachers object to and that legislative leaders are going to fix before the end of the session.”

He also said that he hasn’t been in Tallahassee, and that the bill isn’t identical to merit pay bills he studied carefully when he was House speaker.

Asked again, he responded, “If this bill’s got some things in it that are wrong, they should fix them, and they still have time to do it – there’s three weeks left in the session.”

Asked a third time, he said, “Again, I told you, I haven’t reviewed the bill in detail.

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