Charlie Crist Shamelessly Attempts to Explain His Party Switch

• February 4, 2014 9:32 pm


Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist attempted to explain his party switch Tuesday on The O'Reilly Factor.

Host Bill O'Reilly hit Crist over his flip flop abortion, citing Crist's previous support for pro life policies. Crist deflected, offering several obviously rehearsed responses in which the former governor claimed he has been personally pro life but pro choice in the context of public policy.

In reality, Crist has embraced several positions on abortion over the course of his career, the National Review reports:

During the Republican primary of the 2006 gubernatorial race, Crist chose the opposite label. "I’m pro-life. I don’t know how else to say it," he told reporters. His stance in a general-election debate against his Democratic opponent was more nuanced: "I’m pro-life on this issue, but I also understand that it’s very important to respect the views of others, and I do," he explained. "I don’t think it’s important to change the law. What I do believe is important is that we change hearts and not the law. . . .  I’m pro-life and I’m proud of it, but I don’t think that I should impose my will on other people as a result of it."

In January 2010, as Marco Rubio was gaining on him in the Republican Senate primary, Crist seemed to think that laws should be changed as well as hearts. He issued a statement promising to fight "for pro-life legislative efforts" in the Senate. Five months later, he scrubbed his campaign website of all references to his support for pro-life causes and "the sanctity of life" and vetoed a bill that would have required a woman seeking an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound and be given the opportunity to see it.

On Obamacare, Crist said he still whole heartedly supports the law. O'Reilly countered Governor Rick Scott (R., Fla.) will use the issue against Crist considering the Obama administration's woeful management of the rollout.  "I'm sure he will," Crist said without elaborating.

The newly minted Democrat went on to reveal he intends to campaign against Gov. Scott's ethics record. Crist did not say weather jobs or the economy would be a part of his campaign.