EDITOR OF REDSTATE
The Evolution of Charlie Crist: He Says He is One Thing. His Record Shows Him to be Something Else.
Charlie Crist's campaign says Crist is a conservative. Crist himself says he does not know what it means to be a conservative.
Last week, Charlie Crist decided to attack conservatives by telling reporters that “It’s hard to be more conservative than I am on issues — there’s different ways stylistically to communicate that — I’m pro-life, I’m pro-gun, I’m pro-family, and I’m anti-tax,” then went on to say he guessed he just wasn’t angry enough.
In the DNC – McClatchy News hit job of Jim DeMint and me, the one where the reporter and DNC dutifully compare me to Rev. Wright, the John Cornyn’s National Republican Senatorial Committee dutifully got in on the fun parroting Charlie Crist.
“Charlie Crist is pro-life, pro-gun and pro-family,” said Brian Walsh, a Cornyn spokesman. “That’s not a definition of anything less than a conservative.”
Remember, only a few weeks ago John Cornyn announced the NRSC was staying out of Florida.
In any event, we must question if Brian Walsh knows what he is talking about and we can trust that Charlie Crist is lying. Why? Well, because we have Crist in his own words.
Just this morning, Crist’s spokesman says Charlie is willing to shift ground on his principles for pragmatic reasons.
Crist spokeswoman Andrea Saul described Crist’s comment about not endorsing the stimulus as “a miscommunication.” She said in accepting the money the governor was simply being “pragmatic” during a time of “unprecedented” economic turmoil. Crist, she said, understood there are times when compromise is necessary.
“If you stand your ground on everything,” Saul said, “you don’t get anything done.”
On most issues important to conservatives, Crist does well, said Jamie Miller, a political consultant and former director with the state party.
He opposes abortion and same-sex marriage — though not vocally enough for some conservatives — and supports the death penalty and gun rights. A former attorney general and state senator, Crist earned the nickname “Chain-Gang Charlie” for sponsoring a bill to bring back prison work crews.
Having failed to show that Marco Rubio is not a conservative, the Crist campaign has gone back to square one and has decided if they just keep telling everyone Crist is a conservative, perhaps someone will believe them.
There’s just one problem — Charlie Crist has a record and he himself says he does not know what it even means to be a conservative.
“Asked what being ‘conservative’ meant to him, he grew vague. ‘I don’t know,’ [Charlie Crist] said. ‘It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m not really absorbed much by labels others might put on me.’” That was from the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on December 30, 2007.
Then there is this from LifeNews.com on May 27, 2008:
“Governor Crist has earned himself the scorn of some pro-life advocates in Florida over the three main pro-life issues — abortion, euthanasia and embryonic stem cell research. On abortion, Crist called himself ‘pro-choice’ as late as 1998… Still, Crist wouldn’t go as far as saying he thought Roe v. Wade should be overturned so states could, once again, offer legal protection for unborn children. … Crist also drew fire from pro-life advocates when he endorsed embryonic stem cell research and campaigned for a measure forcing taxpayers to fund it. … Crist also received criticism on the Terri Schiavo debate about where he really stood on a Congressional bill that would have let Terri’s parents take their lawsuit to save her life to federal courts. Crist so upset Terri’s family that her father, Robert Schindler, went as far as saying Crist ‘let my daughter die.’ ‘He had it within his authority to save her life, but he turned a blind eye to her suffering,’ Schindler wrote in an editorial.”
Likewise, in 1998, Crist told the St. Petersburg Times that he considered himself “pro-choice,” said he believed in a woman’s right to abortion, and said he opposed a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. NARAL also noted as recently as 2005 that Crist had opposed counseling requirements and waiting periods for women seeking abortion.
On guns, Crist named James Perry to the Florida Supreme Court. Perry was aggressively opposed by the NRA and social conservatives because Perry had never shown any respect for life or the second amendment. Likewise, Crist tried to kill an NRA “guns-at-work” initiative and take money form a concealed weapons permit fee trust.
Crist is not exactly pro-family either. From the Gannett News Service on July 22 of this year:
“Launching a whirlwind tour to promote ‘Explore Adoption Day,’ Gov. Charlie Crist appeared to soften his stance this morning against allowing gays to do just that. Civil rights advocates blasted Crist earlier in the week for encouraging adoption while his administration is in court defending a 1977 law that makes Florida the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption. Now a candidate for U.S. Senate, Crist hinted today that he might support lifting the ban. At first, Crist said it would be the Legislature’s responsibility to change the law. When pressed on whether he would support the effort, Crist said, ‘I’d have to think about it.’”
He’s also stated his ambivalence on traditional marriage.
Lastly, Crist says he is anti-tax, but consider that he just recently signed a state budget raising, according to the Times/Herald, “a historic amount of taxes.”
Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder. And Charlie Crist’s actions prove him to be anti-family, anti-life, anti-gun, and very much in favor of taxes.