Florida Gov. Crist Visited Martha’s Vineyard Friday; Campaign Says He Didn’t Meet With Obama, Won’t Say Who Hosted Fundraiser

By Matt Cover | August 26, 2010 | 9:52 AM EDT

In a Tuesday, April 27, 2010 photo, Gov. Charlie Crist speaks during a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla. Crist appears to be setting the stage to drop out of the GOP Senate primary and run as an independent for the US Senate primary. Crist will announce his plans at 5 p.m. Thursday in his hometown of St. Petersburg. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

(CNSNews.com) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running for the U.S. Senate as an Independent facing both a Republican and Democratic opponent, visited Martha’s Vineyard last Friday, but, according to his campaign spokesman, the governor did not meet with President Barack Obama, who was also on the island that day, or with any members of the Obama administration.
Crist’s campaign said the governor visited the island for a fundraiser, but would not say who hosted the event.
President Obama arrived in Martha’s Vineyard last Thursday for a 10-day vacation.
On Monday, according to a report in The Hill, Democrat Freddy Balsera—who was responsible for Obama’s outreach to Hispanics during the 2008 presidential campaign--hosted a fundraiser for Crist in Coral Gables, Fla.
“He [Crist] was in New England for a private campaign event,” Crist spokesman Danny Kanner said of the governor’s whereabouts on Friday.
When asked by CNSNews.com whether Crist was in Martha’s Vineyard, Kanner said, “Martha’s Vineyard is accurate.” Kanner confirmed that the private event was a fundraiser for the governor’s campaign.
While Crist’s staff would not divulge who hosted the fundraiser, they did say that Crist did not meet with President Obama when he was in Martha’s Vineyard.
“No he did not,” Kanner said. “If you’re about to ask me if he met with the President, no he did not.” When asked if Crist met with anyone from the Obama administration, Kanner said, “The answer is no.”
Nantucket Republican Town Committee Chair Donna Hamel told CNSNews.com that she happened to see Crist disembarking from a local Cape Air flight on Friday at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Cape Air spokeswoman Michelle Hanes confirmed that her airline is the only one operating between Logan airport and Martha’s Vineyard.
Crist, who was elected governor of Florida as a Republican, switched to Independent earlier this year and dropped out of a Republican Senate primary race against Marco Rubio. On Tuesday, Rubio won the Republican Senate nomination and Rep. Kendrick Meek won the Democratic Senate nomination. Crist will now face Rubio and Meek in a three-way race in the general election.