ABC News’ Yunji de Nies, Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller Report:
Florida Governor Charlie Crist says Republicans who say the stimulus has not created jobs are simply wrong. "That’s not the case in Florida," he said speaking after the National Governors Association meeting at the White House, "It created or maintained at least 87,000 jobs, 27,000 of those jobs are educators and teachers throughout our state. I dare say what impact that would have on the students if those teachers were out of work, unable to put bread on the table for their families."
The governor said accepting stimulus funding was "the responsible and right thing to do for the people and it puts people above politics." He went on to say that lawmakers in Washington need to put their constituents ahead of partisan bickering.
Many in his own party have criticized the governor for publicly supporting the stimulus plan, even appearing at an event with the President last February on the issue. Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio wants to take Crist’s seat, and has gone after the governor repeatedly on this issue.
Crist brushed off the criticism, saying, "He's wrong, and I'm right."
He says he does not regret accepting the stimulus money.
"I can’t apologize for it all," he said, "It was the right thing to do. We needed the money and 87,000 jobs in our state. And you know, I was raised to respect the Presidency of the United States."