LeBron James's departure becomes campaign fodder in Florida

Basketball star LeBron James' decision to leave the Miami Heat and return to his hometown team in Cleveland is making waves in Florida -- so much so that it's become campaign fodder.

Friday afternoon, the re-election campaign for Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent reporters an image of Scott's Democratic challenger, former Gov. Charlie Crist, next to an image of James. The black-and-white image reads, "What do these two guys have in common? They both ran away."

James is infamous for the theatrics surrounding his 2010 decision to leave Cleveland for Miami, and his decision to return to Cleveland has once again riled up basketball fans.

Crist, meanwhile, served as governor of Florida as a Republican. But when he lost his 2010 Senate bid in the Republican primary to now-Sen. Marco Rubio, he decided to become an independent. In 2012, Crist officially joined the Democratic Party and announced he would run against Scott.

Since then, the Florida Republican Party has made aggressive efforts to call the former governor's character into question, notes Florida-based CBS News Radio correspondent Peter King.

The Crist campaign was ready with a punchy response to the comparison.

"LeBron came to Florida while Charlie Crist was Governor and left while Rick Scott was in charge. The only thing Rick Scott probably knows about basketball is how to steal - just ask seniors and the middle class," Crist spokesman Kevin Cate told CBS.

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