The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

To become the next governor of Florida, Charlie Crist needs to do everything he can to convince Democrats that he’s truly one of them, while reassuring Republicans that he’s still the same moderate he’s always been. That’s just politics. But no matter how persuasive he is, Crist can’t totally hide from his Republican past.

A conservative group is now taking advantage of Crist’s history, by sending a robocall to voters featuring Crist spouting some not-so-liberal views.

“Hi, this is Charlie Crist calling to set the record straight. I’m pro-life. I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, I support traditional marriage, and I have never supported a new tax or big spending program. It’s sad that in his fourth try for governor my opponent has resorted to distortions and untruths,” he says in the recording. “Floridians need a consistent, conservative governor that they can trust. I would appreciate your vote on Election Day.”

As the Miami Herald reports, the call was sponsored by a political committee called The Conservatives. The recording is of Crist in 2006, when he was running in the Republican primary for governor. His opponent, Tom Gallagher, accused him of being a moderate, so Crist — like the true politician he is — reassured voters that he was a far-right conservative. Ironically, he also criticized Gallagher at the time for flip-flopping on his positions.

“Talking about being a conservative after a political lifetime of liberalism just isn’t believeable,” he said of his opponent.

Now Republicans are using the same argument against Crist, whose campaign for governor as a Democrat looks very different from the 2006 edition.

“It’s hard to believe that someone can go from a Ronald Reagan Republican to a Barack Obama liberal in a short period of time. It’s pretty dramatic,” Crist’s opponent, Republican governor Rick Scott, said in an AP interview.

Democrats won’t necessarily believe that the robocall actually features Crist’s voice, or that it represents his current beliefs. All voters have to do is look at Crist’s website to see that he explicitly disagrees with everything he said back when he was running as a Republican. His website accuses Scott of being “anti-choice,” states that Florida needs to support its DREAMers, and that “all Floridians should be able to marry the person they love.”

The Crist campaign views this robocall as a “shady voter suppression tactic.”

“Republicans are so desperate they’re not even bothering to cover their tracks: They’re targeting Democratic primary voters with a robocall that’s nearly a decade old, hoping to fool them into thinking it’s new,” spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said. “Republicans are running scared — so they’re trying to suppress the vote. But it won’t work.”

Crist and Scott are still essentially tied in the polls, with the Real Clear Politics poll average showing Scott ahead by only 0.8 percent.

Photo: Mike Cohen via Flickr

Interested in U.S. politics? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

By Alistair Smout and Costas Pitas

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain said on Friday that a newly identified coronavirus variant spreading in South Africa was of huge concern, and considered by scientists to be the most significant one yet found as it could make vaccines less effective.

Keep reading... Show less

The Pentagon

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

As a Navy spouse of 10 years and counting, my life offers an up-close view of our country's priorities when it comes to infrastructure and government spending.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}