October 19th, 2010
08:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Crist, Meek spar over use of 'Obamacare'

(CNN) – When independent Senate candidate Charlie Crist railed on health care reform legislation in a debate held Tuesday night, he didn't call it health care reform, he called it "Obamacare."

"I think that Obamacare was off the charts, was wrong," Crist said in a debate between the Sunshine State's three Senate candidates held at Nova Southeast University in Fort Lauderdale. "It taxed too much, has mandates that are probably unconstitutional and it's not the way to go."

"And it was rammed through," Crist added for good measure.

Moments later, the Democratic candidate, Rep. Kendrick Meek, saw an opening.

"I'm just shocked to hear now the new lingo from the governor talking about Obamacare, I wonder if he said that to the president when he was walking with him on the beach," Meek said to laughter from the generally restrained audience.

Crist and President Obama walked along a beach in Pensacola Beach, Florida, in June during the midst of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill crisis.

"When we were on the beach, we were protecting Florida. And that's what I talked to him about," Crist shot back.

Meek then accused the governor of supporting offshore oil drilling.

"No, I'm not," Crist replied, turning his sights to the race's frontrunner, Republican Marco Rubio. "He's the guy who wants offshore oil drilling."

Crist, who in recent polls has fallen behind Rubio by double digits, has sought to skim support from the former House Speaker by attempting to appeal to conservative voters.

The three candidates will face off in a nationally televised debate this Sunday at 9 a.m. ET on CNN. CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley will host the debate from the University of South Florida in Tampa.


Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • issues • Kendrick Meek • Marco Rubio
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. CNN watcher

    Poor Crist, his career as a politician is all but over. That's what happens when you're a liar.

    October 19, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. Dave

    Go Charlie. Florida needs you!

    October 19, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  3. ron

    Call it Obama care, that just shows that Crist and the GOP don't care what happens to sick people, especially kids that are denied coverage.

    October 19, 2010 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  4. moderate voter

    Whatever you call it the healthcare deal get people involved with their health. I can think of another type of insurance that is required by the government. Car insurance

    October 19, 2010 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  5. Liz the First

    When the dust settles and people realize how good 'Obamacare' actually is, when they stop listening to all the lies from the CONservatives, the term will become the compliment to the man who gave it to us it deserves to be. it's not perfect, but it's a good first step. and a lot of the numbers against it are not because it goes too far, but because it doesn't go far enough. let's remember the opposition to it comes from the folks in the pockets of the insurance companies. and i don't see any seniors rushing to divest themselves of their version of Obamacare, that would be MEDICARE!!!!!!!!!!!!! it's disgusting to see the Dems not running on this and the other great achievements of their administration. they're letting the liars win.

    October 19, 2010 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. Peter

    I would like to know where the terms "Obamacare", "Victory Mosque", etc, came from? Did one of those tabloid radio talk hacks cook this up and now everyone on the right parrots these phrases like a bunch of trained birds? Oh yeah, "Government Motors", too.

    October 19, 2010 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    Oh Lord – I was excited about the debate until I learned who the narrator was... Jeez!!! However, I will watch and see what I can walk away with!!

    This is T'SAH and I approve this message!!

    October 19, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  8. bdm

    those of you in opposition to "obamacare" must really enjoy paying for the health care of people who end up in the ER for a sore throat and don't bother to buy health insurance.

    October 19, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. Janelle Barlow

    I'll bet just about anything that in the future we are going to use the term Obamacare in a positive way. I realize now it is a derisive term meaning Obama got his way with a big fat unaffordable health care program. In the future, it will probably roll off our tongues in the same way Medicare does today. No one will see it as a negative, and the Democrats will get all the credit for the legislation and any future health care legislation.

    October 19, 2010 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. Ex-republican

    Eh, Crist,
    nice to play double game. The President is there, you are fine, now you play something else. Thanks fot clarification! Go, Meek!

    October 19, 2010 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. George of the jungle

    Crist is a creep.Vote all the repos out

    October 19, 2010 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  12. ConcernedPeeP

    These two are both idiots would not vote for either.

    October 19, 2010 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  13. B. A.

    My poor Charlie Crist. He tried too hard, I think. I can't believe he said "Obamacare". That's so lower class Republican.

    October 19, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  14. Bill

    Gee, is Charlie flip-flopping again? Makes me regret voting for him - but Kendrick Meek doesn't stand a chance of winning.

    October 19, 2010 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  15. Aaron

    If Meek has absolutely no chance of winning, I wish that he'd drop out and endorse Crist. Crist is a lot better than Pallin's teabagging flunkey Rubio. It would be especially nice if the billionaire Koch brothers who are paying for Rubio's campaign got a zero return on their investment in future votes in their favor from Rubio in the Senate.

    October 20, 2010 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  16. 14 Days until Socialism dies in the United States

    Rubio going away... Crist and Meeks are losers. The Senate doesn't need Obozo rubber stampers.

    October 20, 2010 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. barry

    Funny. Meek is the victim of Obama in this race. Rubio wins this one big.

    October 20, 2010 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  18. henry

    There are a lot of us working democrats that this year for the first time we will definitely be crossing the party lines.this administration has failed us and americans are tired of all of the political lies

    October 20, 2010 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  19. Jude

    obama care for those who care. care to share, care to be part of a country united. diversity if our downfall, keeps us from caring, especially for those not like us. certainly not sharing. the "good" ole days were good for few and efforts to make it good for all is not being embraced. a few more generation before the "ole" folk go away and the new generation can see usa as one.

    October 20, 2010 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  20. jdoggers

    Why in the world would they want to spar about something that doesn't exist. There is no such thing as "obamacare". It is a made up term by the republican controlled fox news to try and paint the health care bill as something that is supposedly bad for Americans. The truth is that most of the people who use that word to describe the health care bill have absolutely no clue what is really in it.

    October 20, 2010 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  21. Dan

    As a former supporter of Charlie Crist I can finally say this man has the backbone of a jellyfish. Always on both sides of every issue. Charlie is exactly what Florida doesn't need in Washington.

    October 20, 2010 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  22. Marc Roberts

    "Obamacare" should be changed to Obama Cares because you know that he truly cares about everyone having
    access to health care not because he just t
    talked about it, but because he actually did something about it. So who cares what you call it, I'm looking at who cares. – Marc Roberts said that-

    October 20, 2010 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  23. John Brown

    He and Rubio are Republican Tea Party. Whoever call Health Care Reform "Obama care" and accuse that health reform a mistake and carry a lot of tax? They are Republican Tea Party. This party is fighting for billionaire club. They are funded by big corporation like health care company who like to drop your coverage. If you vote for Republican? They will close their eyes if health care provider drop you from their coverage and you will die helplessly. Think about that before you vote..!
    I will vote for Democrat.

    October 20, 2010 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  24. Charles W. Skinner

    Crist can hang up his hat. He's done. The people of Florida can see through his self-serving changes in position, that seem to shift with the changing of the weather. First he was for Obamacare in principle, now he's against it entirely and thinks its unconstitutional. He vetoed legislation that Conservative voters demanded to make sure the children in the public school system were being educated rather than just shepherded by absentee teachers, and now is trying to appeal to Conservatives before he gets his hat handed to him in the election as those same voters tell him to get out. It won't work. The people of Florida can finally say 'goodbye' to the RINO Charlie Crist.

    October 20, 2010 05:30 am at 5:30 am |
  25. Charlotte Crist

    I use to like Charlie, now I'm sorry we both have the same last name...for fear someone might think we are related!

    October 20, 2010 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
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