Gov. Tim Pawlenty took an unprompted shot at Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's veto of an education policy bill.
"We saw in Florida, by the way, the Legislature pass a very aggressive set of reforms. It ended up unfortunately getting vetoed," Pawlenty said in announcing his proposal for a renewed Race to the Top education application.
Ask if he had further thoughts about Republican Crist's veto or "what his future may portend," Pawlenty said: "Well, I'll just speak to the veto...that piece of legislation that was passed by the Florida Legislature was one of the most boldest, most aggressive in my view best pieces of education reform legislation in the country...and it was extremely disappointing that he vetoed it."
His shot at Crist, of course, must be viewed in context:
- Crist is (for now) running in a Republican primary against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.
- Powerful Republicans have backed Rubio's bid and he is doing better than Crist in polls.
- Possible 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney Monday officially announced that he would support Rubio.
- Pawlenty is also eyeing a possible 2012 run for president.
- Pawlenty has, thus far, held back on any endorsement in Florida.
- Could Pawlenty's shot at Crist be a sign that he's readying to end his neutrality?