Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Charlie Crist (D) delivered verbal punches during a gubernatorial debate hosted by CNN in Jacksonville on Monday. Scott touted his success in recruiting employers to Florida, resulting in large increases in jobs. Crist projected himself as a man of the people, following the Democrats’ ruse that flies in the face of the current state of the middle class under 8 years of that party’s rule in Washington.
The matchup featured a governor who doesn’t believe Washington is a god and a wannabe governor who mentioned President Barack Obama more than most Democrats running for office at a time when the leftist party’s policies are drawing high levels of criticism.
There were moments in the debate that likely won’t be marked by media—after all, the moderators missed them. But they should be.
CRIST ATTACKS SCOTT’S WEALTH, IGNORES HIS WIFE’S
Crist repeatedly slammed Scott for his wealth. Scott, to his credit, didn’t return the favor. Crist also employed another Democrat talking point in a bizarre way. When Scott defended the fact he placed his money in a blind trust just as both Democrats and Republicans who wanted to be governor had done in the past, Crist doubled down.
The fact Crist would assail anyone for wealth is insane, especially since we have no idea of his own shared wealth. Crist’s wife refused to release her tax returns. His reason for that—it’s “a woman’s right to choose.” So Crist basically compared releasing a tax return to the philosophical debate over whether abortion is taking a human life. Crist also said his wife wasn’t “running for anything.”
But Crist opened the door on his wife by injecting her business into a discussion about the minimum wage, praising her practices as an employer and small business owner. He seemed to overlook the fact that should he win, his wife’s position as Florida’s First Lady would direct a number of benefits to her, among them living in the governor’s mansion.
While Crist attacked Scott for his wealth, Scott refrained from returning the favor, although he could have. That is because Crist’s wife has a history of wealth—big wealth. The Tampa Bay Times noted Crist’s wife’s vast wealth in an article introducing her as his fiancee in 2008 when he was governor. The paper described her life with her first husband:
“Her life outside was lavish. She and Todd Rome owned homes all over New York City. They built a townhouse on Manhattan’s exclusive Upper East Side. They had a 10,000-square-foot vacation home in Southampton.”
The interview took place on a private island the majority of us could not afford to live on. The paper said Crist and his wife would live there part of the time. You have to get there by boat or air—you don’t drive onto the island. And the place isn’t shabby—“its 1,400 residents had the highest per capita income in the United States.” As for the governor’s wife, she had “a 3,690-square-foot, $4.1-million condo.”
So it’s okay for Crist’s wife to enjoy lots of wealth but not Gov. Scott? Double standards are a progressive’s best friend.
THE GLOBALWARMING MOTIF
The subject of climate change, a label Democrats substituted for global warming when a carbon tax bill couldn’t pass the US House, arose. Unfortunately moderator Jake Tapper made a statement that is highly misleading. Tapper asked Scott: “Why are you so reluctant to believe the overwhelming majority of scientists who say that man contributes to climate change?”
Tapper should have used the truer term—global warming. The term ‘climate change’ is a political smokescreen.
Furthermore, the people involved in the global warming industrial complex are not all “scientists.” They include statisticians with questionable computer models, bloggers, wonks at the United Nations, and many others who simply put, don’t conduct experiments or research. The left is pretty much enraptured with what they describe as clean energy. No energy is truly clean at present. The cleanest in terms of emissions is nuclear power but few on the left will endorse it.
A number of experts disagree with the status quo on global warming.
Crist, if elected, would likely go whole hog aboard the leftwing carbon tax train and it is indisputable that doing so would send us regular folks scrambling to find the dollars to pay the “skyrocketing” utility bills Obama promised.
CRIST’S PARTY SWITCHES AND RACE BAITING
The most obscene moment in the debate arose when Crist wove what amounted to a fantasy about his switching political parties. Bear in mind Crist was a Republican who became a No Party Affiliate and then, in 2012, declared himself a Democrat. He made the statement on Twitter. Crist, said The NY Times, signed the papers at the White House during a party. Crist and Obama did a fist bump.
Tapper brought up the party switch by quoting Crist:
“I couldn’t be consistent with myself and my core beliefs and stay with the party that was so unfriendly for the African-American president. I’ll just go there. I saw a Republican and I saw the activists and what they were doing. It was intolerable to me.”
Crist invoked the pop culture meme that the GOP didn’t like the “first African-American president.” Crist also said last night the GOP had experienced a “Tea Party kidnapping.” Crist, like so many of his fellow Democrats, appears to despise hard-working Americans who want government reform. The so-called tea party movement began as a response to a Republican president. Crist left that part out.
However, his playing the race card was a call-out moment that should have drawn additional questions from the moderators.
Anyone who was breathing and awake in 2010 knows exactly why Crist left the GOP. The governor chose not to run for reelection because he had his eye on the US Senate. Crist had party power brokers behind him—it looked like an anointment.
And then came Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, opposing Crist for the GOP nomination. Rubio had the odds against him, but a truly grassroots movement came forth and pushed him ahead in the polls.
Crist made a promise during that campaign he did not keep. He told Chris Wallace on Fox News he would support the GOP nominee. By the time Election Day rolled around, Crist had left the GOP to run as a No Party Affiliate. He had begun to court Democrats but he did not change his party. As a result, Crist helped split the Democrats’ vote. Rubio won the race by a whopping 19.2 margin, and it’s likely he would’ve won even if the race had been between Rubio and the Democrat who, in that race, happened to be a black man.
However, most observers know Crist left the GOP because it was the only way he could stay in the Senate race despite losing the GOP primary race.
To resort to race-baiting is inexcusable. No candidate who does that deserves your vote. It is an insult to all Americans and it is a perfect example of the divisiveness progressives sow purely for political gain.
DRIVERS’ LICENSES FOR ALL FOREIGN NATIONALS
There was another declaration by Crist that should have drawn media attention, but I don’t think most realized what Crist was saying. The topic media improperly refer to as ‘immigration’ came up:
“KENT JUSTICE, MODERATOR: We want to take a question from Facebook, regarding immigration and specifically driver’s licenses.
Governor Crist, I’m going to start with you. Karla De Anda from North Miami Beach Florida asked, “Do you support giving driver’s licenses regardless of legal status, not just the DREAMers?” Governor Crist?
CRIST: I think we need to have it for all of them.”
What Crist is saying is that any foreign national in Florida should be able to get a driver’s license. Apparently the Democrat forgot the role of fraudulent documents for hijackers before the 9/11 attacks. That is a startling statement he made, considering numerous concerns agencies like the FBI have expressed about document fraud and security loopholes because of our porous border.
SCOTT’S RECORD IS SOUND
Scott has been an able governor. There is no dispute about his bringing many jobs to Florida, addressing the state’s debt, and restoring Florida to a far sounder fiscal basis than we were on before Scott became governor. Scott addressed numerous matters, including environmental issues and a deficit, successfully. He inherited a number of problems from Crist.
Furthermore, Scott was not a party insider like Crist was when he was in the GOP. Thus far, Scott has led the state through the post-meltdown years and although media doesn’t fawn on him as they do Democrats, his record is hard to beat. That is why Crist had to go very negative early on and continues in that vein today.
You can read the whole transcript at The Miami Herald.
Disclosure: I support Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection. I get no benefits whatsoever for supporting him, and I don’t get a dime from any political party or group.
(Analysis by Kay B. Day/Oct. 22, 2014)
Follow Day on the Day on Twitter @DayontheDay. Supporters can donate to help this site continue operating by using the PayPal link in the right-hand column.