Council of 100 Takes Back Invitation to Hear Charlie Crist

"I can't help but to think it was Rick Scott," Crist told reporters.

The Council of 100 rescinded an invitation for former Gov. Charlie Crist to speak at its meeting in Orlando on Thursday and Crist believes it's because Republican Gov. Rick Scott didn't want him there.

The policy advisory group told Crist two days before the meeting that it no longer wanted him speaking at the meeting. He was scheduled to speak at 11 a.m., three hours after Scott addressed the group.

"I can't help but to think it was Rick Scott," Crist told reporters outside the meeting. "I don't think he wants to hear what I want to say. I mean, I'm telling the truth about him."

Crist is seeking the Democratic nomination to face Scott. He served as a Republican governor, but left the party in 2010 and registered as a Democrat in December 2012, 11 months before announcing plans to seek his old job with his new party.

Council Chairman Steven Halverson said the group decided it wanted speakers to stick to policy issues.

"As our meeting schedule developed, we wanted to ensure our policy meetings remained policy focused and not evolve into a political event. We then sought out Governor Crist, who graciously accepted our apology for any inconvenience we may have caused," Halverson said in an email.

Crist is an honorary member of the group and is allowed to attend the meetings as a former governor, Halverson said, adding that the decision to rescind the invitation to speak was solely his.

Asked about Crist's allegation, Scott spokesman Greg Blair issued a statement that said, "We hope Charlie Crist speaks in every corner of the state. The more he speaks, the clearer it becomes that Crist is only focused on talk, while Rick Scott is focused on action."

Blair didn't immediately reply when asked specifically if Scott asked the group to uninvite Crist.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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