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Fact-Checking Charlie Crist's Claim That The Recovery Started During His Administration

politifact.com

The economy is definitely going to be a campaign issue in the Florida gubernatorial race, with Republican Gov. Rick Scott claiming that he's cleaned up the economic mess left by his predecessor -- Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist.

It is Crist who will be running to unseat Scott.

As Florida's governor, Crist served from January 2007 to January 2011 when the wheels fell off Florida's economy -- and the country's -- in what's now referred to as the great recession.

But, in a recentCNN interview, Crist said any economic upswing during the Rick Scott administration was really his doing.

Crist told CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley"  the economic "turnaround started at the end of my term."

"We called that half true," said PolitiFact's Josh Gillin. "There were a lot of of economic indicators that came up toward the end of his term. What we found is that the unemployment rate did drop slightly, per capita personal income did go up a little bit. Things like per capita real GDP, which is a common indicator of the economy that's used to measure whether or not the recession is ending, was still on a downward slide." 

And, Gillin said, how then-Gov. Crist got the Florida economy moving has a downside for Crist in the upcoming governor's race.

"Then-governor Crist accepted a lot of federal stimulus dollars from President Obama which he's caught a lot of heat for and we're sure to hear about during this campaign," Gillin explained. "One of the economists we talked to said something very interesting. He said well if he's going to take credit for that, shouldn't he take some of the blame for it as well? So, we found it half true."