Conservative group uses Charlie Crist to attack Charlie Crist
August 14th, 2014
04:09 PM ET
3 months ago

Conservative group uses Charlie Crist to attack Charlie Crist

(CNN) – Charlie Crist is robo-calling Florida voters, talking about his conservative values as he wages another campaign for governor.

The only problem is Crist is now a Democrat, and the recorded phone message is actually from 2006, when he was a Republican.

Republican state Sen. Tom Lee is resurfacing Crist's old campaign comments to remind Democratic voters of Crist's past words and highlight his party switch.

Lee's Group – "The Conservatives" – is paying for the robocalls across Florida. This particular call is the same one Crist used in the 2006 governor's race to sway Republican primary voters.

The robocall, one of four that Lee's group is producing, ticks off a list of conservative stances Crist once held but has since rejected:

"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…Floridians need a consistent, conservative governor that they can trust. I would appreciate your vote on Election Day"

Lee told CNN he's backing the calls because Crist, who served as Florida's Republican governor from 2007 to 2011, ran as an independent for the U.S. Senate and is now running for the Democratic nomination for governor. He argued that Crist has undergone "a dramatic metamorphosis" and is "defrauding 19 million people in Florida."

Having once considered Crist a political mentor after they met in Tallahassee, Lee broke with Crist in 2009 when Crist pivoted to the center to run for U.S. Senate. Lee was an early backer of the more conservative Marco Rubio, who ultimately defeated Crist in the 2010 GOP Senate primary. That's when Crist became an independent and ran unsuccessfully in the general election later that year.

At the end of 2012, after Obama's re-election, Crist announced he had officially become a Democrat.

Lee would not specify how much his group is spending but said that 2 million calls have gone out to Democratic voters across the state, apparently to help Crist's primary opponent Nan Rich.

The fourth call will go out Thursday, Lee told CNN, using Crist's 2008 suggestion that Sarah Palin would make a better president than Barack Obama.

The Crist campaign said the calls are a form of voter "suppression" and evidence of Republican "desperation."

Crist spokesman Brendan Gillfillan said Republicans are “targeting Democratic primary voters with a robocall that’s nearly a decade old, hoping to fool them into thinking it’s new. It’s a tired tactic, one they used to target other Democratic candidates in 2012.”

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Filed under: 2014 • Charlie Crist • Florida
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Bill from GA

    Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota

    Perhaps I worded my comment wrong? I too am demanding that my young Black brothers be treated in the same manner by police as was the young white man I referenced in my comment to Rudy.

    I used that as an example of how ALL law enforcement should treat "suspects"
    -----------------–
    Your intent is something that I will never question my friend.
    The fact remains, as I stated in my second post to you, that while this is the way that police should treat young Black brothers (my heart melted when you wrote that, btw!) that is frequently not the case.
    I wouldn't say that you're being naive in offering up your anecdote, as much as speaking from your point of reference.
    Unfortunately there is a huge chasm between your experience and that of most of Black America when it comes to dealing with the "authorities".

    ************
    Is a young black man killed by another young black man any less dead than one killed by a policeman?
    Probably 1000 are killed by someone who looks like themselves for each one killed by a cop.
    Where is the outrage?

    August 15, 2014 05:00 am at 5:00 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Great! From the state who voted for a man who stole from their Medicare funds? Let's hnot forget shrub #3 (politically) who gave them the stand your ground and murder law.
    I guess we would need to give Florida back to Spain?

    August 15, 2014 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  3. Gurgyl

    -listen folks, listen Charlie, I do NOT have any type of GRUDGE against Republicans. Well, however I can analyze as to what is going on. I think these republicans change their attitude. Does Tom Thillis know "Cutting education funding" troubles teachers, kids, parents? Do they know wars need money? No war is free, of course for Dick Cheney it is profit, free, it is different matter. So, I urge all to vote direct democratic ticket–at least they care Poor, needy, women. Go Charlie, you have my blessings.

    August 15, 2014 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Things change over a period of 8 years. Eight years ago, I thought republicans were wrong on every issue, but in their own way, actually cared about our country. Now I know they don't care about our country or Americans. They shut down government, obstruct legislation that would help citizens, got our credit rating downgraded, have no desire to pass jobs bills, but vote against women, minorities, students, veterans, seniors, the poor and the unemployed.

    August 15, 2014 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  5. salty dog

    Chameleon , then you must have loved the mitt Romney campaign, huh?

    August 15, 2014 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Silence DoGood

    @Chameleon Charlie
    Just rub my belly and vote for me and I'll be whatever you want me to be. ALL of my positions are up for sale or change depending on what I need to say or do to get elected and keep getting elected. I am a man of constantly changing positions, principles and political parties. You'll never be able to nail me to the wall on a topic, as I am the original jello man.
    ----–
    Smart people consider things and change their mind now and again.
    Lock step conservatives submit to the Holy Purity Test.
    ----------
    Democrats change their mind over time and they "evolve".

    Conservatives change their mind over time and they "flip flop".

    I get it.

    August 15, 2014 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  7. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    This is actually kind of funny.....

    August 15, 2014 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  8. an Iowan

    What a maroon!!
    Bahahahahaha!

    August 15, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Lynda Minnesota
    @ Dominican mama

    Unfortunately there is a huge chasm between your experience and that of most of Black America when it comes to dealing with the "authorities".
    ------–

    I accept the undeniable truth to your statement and am trying to understand in a manner that is neither (I hope) offensive or discouraging to others.

    Thank you for your patience with me while I try and walk steps I've not walked (and admittedly stumble on) as I try to gain an insight foreign to me by the simple virtue of my own heritage as a white woman who DOES believe in equality for all
    ----------------------------------------------------–
    You couldn't be offensive if you tried my friend.
    Nothing to thank me for, your heart is in the right place on this and many, many other issues that bind us.
    I have noted over and over again how willing you are to let your mind be guided by good principles, common sense and decency.
    It is I who thanks you.

    August 15, 2014 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  10. Name JK. SFL. THE GOP THE NATIONAL JOKE PARTY , WE WONT PASS ANYTHING AND STILLGET PAID

    Christ could be in the Manson family but he would still get my vote over the CROOK Rick Scott . Remember the voting lines in 2012 and all his anti residents agenda like reducing education funding , sinking the high speed rail goverment funded project worth 25 BILLION dollars to Florida , refusing to set up a state exchange for the ACA and depriving over a million Florida voters of healthcare and not putting his illegally gotten money in a real BLIND TRUST. He is so CROOKED I'm sick of writing anymore, to many to list. Vote this BUM OUT!!!!!

    August 15, 2014 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Bill from GA
    Is a young black man killed by another young black man any less dead than one killed by a policeman?
    Probably 1000 are killed by someone who looks like themselves for each one killed by a cop.
    Where is the outrage?
    -----------------------------------------------------
    I will repeat what I posted earlier yesterday Bill.
    There is something grotesque, unfair, and nefarious when you are being killed by the very people that are supposed to protect you and act in a measured and lawful manner.
    Of course dead is dead is dead.
    But you can't compare being gunned down by a thug, mugger, ne'er do-gooder, criminal and being gunned down, while your hands are up no less, by the police.
    Apples and bricks.
    Mortar and honey.
    Big difference.
    We're not talking about Black on Black crime.
    We're not talking about White on Black crime.
    We're talking about yet another instance of the police killing an unarmed Black youth.

    August 15, 2014 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  12. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    GM Lynda and DM,
    I didn't get to post or read much yesterday as I had on my Kizzy hat yet again. However I want to thank both of you. DM, as usual you held it down and got your point across. Many thanks my sister. And Lynda, your open mind and willingness not to group all people together and to see other sides of things are very admirable qualities. You two are remarkable ladies and I'm so happy to have gotten to know you both! 😊😊😊

    August 15, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Fair is Fair
    Silence DoGood

    @Chameleon Charlie
    Just rub my belly and vote for me and I'll be whatever you want me to be. ALL of my positions are up for sale or change depending on what I need to say or do to get elected and keep getting elected. I am a man of constantly changing positions, principles and political parties. You'll never be able to nail me to the wall on a topic, as I am the original jello man.
    --–
    Smart people consider things and change their mind now and again.
    Lock step conservatives submit to the Holy Purity Test.
    ----
    Democrats change their mind over time and they "evolve".

    Conservatives change their mind over time and they "flip flop".

    I get it.
    ---------------–

    I don't know, Fair. I can't say I "evolved" or I "flip flopped". I've remained true to myself and my political ideology. It is the Republican party that - in my opinion - flip flopped on me. I suspect I as a voter am not alone in this opinion of mine.

    Charlie Christ has done nothing that the late great Mr. Reagan did not do himself: both switched party affiliation to suit themselves. One became President of the United States of American by receiving votes from a political spectrum of bi-partisan voters. Charlie Christ is seeking the same outcome for himself.

    August 15, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  14. Lizzie

    Marie MD
    Great! From the state who voted for a man who stole from their Medicare funds? -- they voted for Pres.Obama who robbed Medicare to fund his ACA
    Let's give all the states back Florida, Lousiana, Texas, Cali, Arizona, New Mexico, Alaska etc.

    August 15, 2014 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. Lynda/Minnesota

    "You two are remarkable ladies and I'm so happy to have gotten to know you both! 😊😊😊"

    As I am happy to know both of you, my internet sister. I always enjoy reading your comments ...! And, hey. I also include others into that category as well.

    I did try to respond to the story you wrote yesterday re: the teens who were killed by the man in the basement of his home. It is familiar to a recent case here in Minnesota.

    August 15, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    GM Lynda and DM,
    I didn't get to post or read much yesterday as I had on my Kizzy hat yet again. However I want to thank both of you. DM, as usual you held it down and got your point across. Many thanks my sister. And Lynda, your open mind and willingness not to group all people together and to see other sides of things are very admirable qualities. You two are remarkable ladies and I'm so happy to have gotten to know you both!
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Right back at ya' Wake Up!

    August 15, 2014 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  17. Lizzie

    Redme
    For president Obama to be half white he should remember how it would feel for someone to call his mother racist automaticly .
    -–he himself called her a racist, in one of his campaign speeches.

    August 15, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Fair is Fair

    I don't know, Fair. I can't say I "evolved" or I "flip flopped". I've remained true to myself and my political ideology. It is the Republican party that – in my opinion – flip flopped on me. I suspect I as a voter am not alone in this opinion of mine.

    Charlie Christ has done nothing that the late great Mr. Reagan did not do himself: both switched party affiliation to suit themselves. One became President of the United States of American by receiving votes from a political spectrum of bi-partisan voters. Charlie Christ is seeking the same outcome for himself.
    ---------
    I'm referring to politicians. I've changed positions on things over time... marijuana legalization, gay marriage, and other issues. But lets look at an example. President Obama, just before an election, reveals that the no longer opposes gay marriage. The left declares he has "evolved", the nuance of which implies "improved" or "changed for the better". If the very same action was executed by a Republican, the left declares that he has "flip-flopped", the nuance of which implies "inconsistent" or "pandering".

    Why?

    August 15, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  19. Klutch Cargo

    UM, WELL, SHUCKS,
    I will have to check with my people in Florida to see what they think. But, there is an election so let the Chips fall where they may! No matter who get's elected, the Florida Legislation is still Republican if i'm not mistaken! Charlie Crist does seem to Flip-Flop all over the place so that may be a problem. Hey, no problem Whats-His-Name in the white house leads in Flip-Flopping!!

    August 15, 2014 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. salty dog

    Nobody flip flops like mittens, he's s freshly caught fish, unhooked and tossed on the ice of the lake, he flipped, he flopped, and then he stopped, we had our say, thank God for that much!

    August 15, 2014 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  21. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lizzie says:
    August 15, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am
    Redme
    For president Obama to be half white he should remember how it would feel for someone to call his mother racist automaticly .
    —–he himself called her a racist, in one of his campaign speeches.

    Another lie. President Obama loved his mother. And apparently she loved his father. How in the world could she be racist??

    Also President Obama usually tries not to even speak about race as that four letter word riles white folks up more than anything.

    August 15, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    -–he himself called her a racist, in one of his campaign speeches
    -----------------------------------------------------You're lying.
    Again.
    Per usual.

    August 15, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Gurgyl

    --are you crying on Medicare funds? Where are you while they are DEFRAUDED by Hospitals, Doctors, pharmacy? Again, I don't have grudge on Republicans. I am telling the truth. I really do not care as long as poor, needy, women get benefit. Greed is so huge with these republicans. True. Yes, ACA is a law. Follow it.

    August 15, 2014 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  24. Chuck

    Crist's only real conviction is his personal ambition. This demonstrated lack of integrity would make him unacceptable to the majority of Republican voters who believe that character matters. However, as long as he is believed to be willing to advance the ball in the direction of the Marxist goal line he should be acceptable to most Democrats... even if he drowned a woman in the Chappaquiddick River and fled the scene.

    August 15, 2014 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
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