Conservative group uses Charlie Crist to attack Charlie Crist
August 14th, 2014
04:09 PM ET
1 month 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. Tampa Tim

    Look out Charlie! Here comes Big Sugar, the Kochs, and the Swift boaters for Scott.

    August 14, 2014 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. just saying

    i love it!!!! great move!!! i can hardly wait until 2014 charlie crist calls 2006 charlie crist a liar!!

    August 14, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    It's quite possible that this could backfire in a big way.
    What if voters say to themselves, "Yeah, I remember that guy. He was reasonable, and he sure isn't an extremists."

    August 14, 2014 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    As Charlie Crist has stated, "I didn't leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me!" I'm sure the voters of Florida are aware that he has some conservative values. But I'm sure he's "evolved" on some of them.

    August 14, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Malory Archer

    Yeah, we keep getting robo-called by them because my husband is listed as an independent on voter rolls. However, he's a Bernie Sanders independent, so that's one vote our illustrious felony medicaid fraud governor WON'T be getting!

    August 14, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    Rudy NYC
    It's quite possible that this could backfire in a big way.
    What if voters say to themselves, "Yeah, I remember that guy. He was reasonable, and he sure isn't an extremists."

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Or yeah, I remember that guy. He had the unmitigated gall to be civil to President Obama and was instantly declared persona non-grata by the wingnut brigade. Charlie Crist didn't leave the reds – they left him.

    August 14, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. jinx9to88

    Scott and his buddies, the Koch brothers, must be getting nervous. LMAO!!!

    August 14, 2014 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. just asking

    Malory Archer
    he's a Bernie Sanders independent
    -

    you mean his a socialist masquerading as an independent.

    August 14, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. 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.

    August 14, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. 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.

    August 14, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. O'drama ya Mama

    "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. "

    Ohhhh so its ok for him to evolve and change his mind but not Crist. Makes perfect sense.

    August 14, 2014 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  12. Chris..E.Al

    I hope rich and poor small and great run from the biggist lie of all times and ever will be .

    August 14, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Chameleon Charlie

    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.
    --

    Yeah, that's right. I am NOT a flip flopin party changing tuna. I am "evolving" cuz I'm smarts and know how to con people into voting for me. Besides, it's much easier being a Democrat. Lies, criminal activity, theft, it's all no problem.

    August 14, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    just asking

    Malory Archer
    he's a Bernie Sanders independent

    you mean his a socialist masquerading as an independent.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah. I guess 24 years of honorable military service will do that to a man.

    August 14, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. Malory Archer

    Chris..E.Al

    I hope rich and poor small and great run from the biggist lie of all times and ever will be .

    +++++++++++++++++

    I hope they all run from the guy who took the 5th 80 times during his felony medicaid fraud trial.

    August 14, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Charlie Crist, 2018 Whig Candidate for Governor

    Hey why not? And if I don't win, I'll join the Green Party.

    August 14, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    Smart people consider things and change their mind now and again.
    Lock step conservatives submit to the Holy Purity Test.
    ---------

    I suspect it depends on which party they switch over to that keeps the GOPerville narrative going. Ronald Reagan and Michele Bachmann come to mind. Both were democrats before they switched to Republican.

    It is when one switches from Republican to Democrat that problems begin for those making that switch. I know this first hand. Both making the switch ... and the comments which automatically follow from GOPerville.

    August 14, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. The REAL Truth...

    Most intelligent folks know that re-use is a cost saving measure... but the GOP would willingly spend it all again..LOL !
    Who says they don't have a sense of humor!

    August 14, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. 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".

    August 14, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. PeterV

    I live in Tampa so I called Sen Lee's office to find out how I am to take all these calls I've been getting. I spoke to a really friendly staffer Doug who works on legislative issues for Sen Lee Doug apologized for not being able to help on political stuff so I then asked what kinds of things he has worked on and could explain and he told me about a really great thing that Sen Lee has done which is to get sales tax money back to corporations that issue their own credit cards faster than before when a card holder defaults. This is so awesome for companies large enough to have their own credit cards to now be able to get sales tax money back from the state faster when some poor person defaults on their i.e.Macys card. I'm sure Sen Lee is really proud of how he helped out the people of Florida with that! I thanked Doug for being so helpful with Sen Lee's legislative contributions and asked him to thank Sen Lee for now helping show how Charlie Crist, who was never a darling of the GOP such as say Mark Foley, can evolve and learn from his mistakes of the past making him even more obvious as the proper choice for Gov. of FL.

    August 14, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Bill from Ga
    This was the first sentence of Sniffit's post on the Rand Paul story about police being too militarized:
    "Randroid is right on both counts: the rioting and looting is unacceptable and not the right way to protest this and the local police forces are too freekin militarized."
    So I am going to assume that the comment you made to Lynda about being kicked off The Gang because she felt that rioting was unacceptable, and Lord Sniffit not liking her anymore was just your unfortunate attempt at humor.
    My point is this Bill, many of us in "The Gang" have no problem whatsoever recognizing and agreeing with the all too rare occasion when someone from the right, left or middle makes a statement that makes sense.
    I don't agree with Rand Paul on too many things but I do agree with him on this: rioting is not the way to demonstrate your displeasure, and the po-po has too many deadly toys they want to try out... on us.
    Interesting how not ONE shot was fired when they were faced with grown men with rifles and guns at the ready and aimed at them in Clive Bundy country....I can't help but note.

    August 14, 2014 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "just asking

    Malory Archer
    he's a Bernie Sanders independent

    you mean his a socialist masquerading as an independent.
    "

    You mean "hi, I'm an ignorant Teatroll who hasn't the first clue what socialism is."

    August 14, 2014 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  23. 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.

    August 14, 2014 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  24. Iamnotfooled

    I like a guy who is willing to change with the times. Not stuck in the 50's.

    August 14, 2014 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  25. Bill from GA

    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.

    ***********************
    There's a few LEFTIES (Uber-Lefties??) who are the same. They don't allow any thought except the Leftie Line, or you get called all sorts of petty names & told how stupid you are. But in real fancy language, usually, so they think they sound superior.

    SOME on both sides can't stand for anyone to think for themselves.

    August 15, 2014 04:57 am at 4:57 am |
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