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Politics

Governor details discussion with Crist about Schiavo

By STEVE BOUSQUET
Published November 2, 2006


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TALLAHASSEE - Attorney General Charlie Crist doesn't recall ever speaking with Gov. Jeb Bush about their differences in the Terri Schiavo case. But Bush does.

The governor Wednesday recalled some specifics of their conversation, which contradicts Crist's assertions that he never discussed the case with Bush.

Crist has contended that the only communication was between staff members of the two officials.

"He may not remember this, but we had a conversation about it because I had heard he was not supportive, and I just said, 'Look, I respect your opinion on this,' and left it at that," Bush told reporters. "It's difficult to have disagreements among friends, but that's part of politics."

Bush said: "He handled it well."

Crist's Democratic rival, Jim Davis, challenged him in a TV debate Monday after Crist said he made clear his opposition to state intervention to pass a law compelling a judge to order Schiavo's feeding tube reconnected.

Asked Tuesday if he ever voiced those reservations to Bush, Crist said, "Not to him."

Critics have said Crist has tried to have it both ways on the polarizing end-of-life case by refusing to stand with his fellow Republicans but keeping silent so as not to offend Bush and others.

The Attorney General's Office submitted legal briefs in support of Bush's position, Crist said, because "we acceded to a request from the governor's general counsel's office. That's how I would describe it, because that's the truth."

Times staff writer Alex Leary contributed to this report. Steve Bousquet can be reached at bousquet@sptimes.com or (850) 224-7263.

[Last modified November 2, 2006, 05:05:27]


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