How do you know Charlie Crist is trying to start a conversation about education? He showed up at a campaign event in Tampa in a school bus as supporters held campaign signs that look like blackboards.
For good measure, he had a child standing next to him as he addressed the media.
"The notion that Rick Scott would get into office and cut education by $1.3 billion is hard to fathom," said Crist.
Though Politifact says most of those cuts were restored, Crist succeeded in starting the discussion.
Republican state legislators showed up at Crist's bus stop to get their own mic time.
"We have more pathways for student success because Rick Scott provided consistent leadership," said State Sen. John Legg (R-Lutz).
The GOP is trying to build their own talking point: That Crist is aloof.
An operative showed up -- dressed up in feathers -- to accuse Crist of ducking debates with fellow Democrat Nan Rich.
Crist acknowledges attacks have helped turn his 10-point lead into a tie.
"(It's) not only negative advertising, but overwhelming advertising," said Crist. "I'm running against a guy who says he is going to spend $100-million on this race. It's the only thing Rick Scott says that I believe."
FOX 13 Political Editor Craig Patrick says Crist won't match Scott's money, but can beat him on the campaign trail, historically a strength for Crist.
"After a three-day bus tour, he is going to have to do several others after that to move the needle at all," said Patrick.
How nasty is the fall campaign going to be?
Scott's attack dogs interrupted Crist's press conference at Al Lopez Park.
"We'll do our best to answer (questions), from the legitimate media," said Crist.
And Crist told FOX 13 he's pulling no punches, either.
"When we tell the truth about Rick Scott, they think it's hell, but we are just telling the truth. And in his case, it is hell."
Crist's campaign bus was in a minor incident on its way to Tampa. While leaving a campaign stop in Orlando, the back of the bus was clipped by another motorist.
No one was hurt, but it delayed Crist's visit to Tampa by two hours.
During the police investigation, Crist threw a football with his son.
The campaign provided a photograph.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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