Charlie Crist is like a walking novel, with multiple characters, plot twists, a sultry down South setting, and a drama queen tone.
Tearing down the campaign trail like his pants are on fire, Crist has resorted to bizarre claims, largely running an attack campaign. The governor who served only one term after losing a U.S. Senate race pulled out the race card. For good measure, he threw in the gender card, the immigrant card, and the gay card.
Fear mongering, using stereotypes based on skin color and other superficial qualities, is the progressive method of choice for winning elections.
Crist, in an obvious effort to corral votes stereotyped as Hispanic, told the TV network Fusion that the Republican Party is “anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, [and] anti-gay.”
As a Republican, if I could have a sitdown with Charlie, I would give him a tongue lashing he would never forget.
Bear in mind Crist first ran for office in 1986, as a Republican. He didn’t become a Democrat until 2012.
There is one reason Crist first became a Non-Party-Affiliated candidate and then switched to Democrat. That reason is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who cleaned Crist and the Democrat candidate’s clocks in the 2010 Senate race. Going into that race, Crist more than likely assumed it was in the bag, but polls eventually shifted and it became obvious Rubio would be the Republican nominee.
Crist cannot run on his gubernatorial record. For one thing, his fiscal performance was limp. The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, gave Crist a report card grade of ‘D’ for his policies on spending and taxation. We don’t have room here for me to share what Crist did to our insurance market. The Insurance Journal does an excellent job of explaining why the “ghost of Charlie Crist haunts insurance reform,” and it was written in 2013.
But let’s return to Crist’s character assassination of every Republican in Florida, and the body count would include me.
He says we are “anti-woman.” Yet it was Crist who put the screws via a double standard for a Republican candidate who was female.
Crist stayed in the governor’s office when he attempted his failed run at the Senate. After all, that office gave him an extraordinary bully pulpit.
Crist didn’t extend that benefit, however, to Republican Holly Benson. Crist appointed Benson to the position of secretary of the Agency for Healthcare Administration. When Benson decided to run for the GOP nomination for the Attorney General race, what did Crist do?
Crist reportedly told Benson to leave office in order to run for the AG nomination.
Let us note it is a lifelong Democrat female Crist is displacing in the run for his latest party’s attempts to win the governor’s race.
So who, Mr. Crist, is anti-women when it comes to reality instead of rhetoric?
Now let’s tackle “anti-immigrant.”
Sen. Rubio is the son of Cuban immigrants. The GOP supported him for his successful run in the Senate, and we aren’t just talking the establishment GOP who eventually came to support Rubio. If ever there was a story of true grassroots support for a candidate’s success, that would be the story of regular Republicans outside the party machine who supported Rubio.
Republicans are not anti-immigrant. We are anti-open border, largely for national security (think 9/11/2001) and fiscal reasons, and that distinction should be pointed out sharply by party leaders.
Also consider Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott’s repeated appeals to President Barack Obama to address the crisis in Venezuela. Many Venezuelan immigrants have made their homes in Florida, with an increase after a dictator came to power and delivered the devastating socialism that has wrecked personal wealth there. Democrats’ response was tepid.
Moving along to “anti-gay.” The GOP is no more “anti-gay” than any other political party. The difference is that the GOP doesn’t base an assessment of your value on your sexual orientation. In fact, the left has actually attacked an excellent candidate in California, Carl DeMaio, who happens to be gay. DeMaio is a Republican.
The worst fabrication Crist came up with in a desperate attempt to wage attacks is his claim we are “anti-minority.”
In fact, for more than a century, the Democrat Party Crist now belongs to was racially prejudiced, and evidence can be found in archives at the Library of Congress. You can even find GOP banners dating to 1888 declaring “Emancipation of Slavery” a top pillar in the “Standard Pyramid” of the Republican Party [see graphic at top]. I’ll leave it to you and Crist to decide what Democrats were doing at the time.
The party Crist called “anti-minority” has run many minority candidates, all of them articulate and focused on solutions instead of dividing Americans purely on the basis of their skin color or ethnicity.
Crist never has been known for consistency.
In March, 2010, Crist talked to Fox News’ Chris Wallace. Crist denied he would run as an independent when Wallace asked him about it. Crist declared he would support the winner of the GOP primary in August.
We now know he broke that promise, and Democrats should remember that Crist split their ticket as I predicted. So if Dems want to thank anyone for the fact the GOP took the Senate seat Rubio now holds, they should thank Crist.
Democrats continue to assail the Republican Party with outright fabrications. Disagreements over policy do not make people bigots.
It is way past time for Republican party leaders to step up to the podium and passionately call these unfounded accusations (purely for political gain) exactly what they are—lies.
Crist told Fusion he is a “Democrat for life” now. All I can say to my friends and family who are Democrats is you are absolutely welcome to this flip-flopping author of fiction.
Gov. Rick Scott truly did “inherit” (as our president likes to say) an absolute mess when he took office. And that mess was the handiwork of none other than Charlie Crist.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/May 7, 2014)
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