October 19th, 2010
08:54 PM ET
12 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. Dave Richman

    Two losers, battling it out while no one watches or cares. Both, having lost their bid for congress, now turn in mock sincerity to argue points that they will never argue in congress. Waste of time.

    October 20, 2010 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  2. Anonymous

    If you were having a debate in grade school, this would be expected. Expected, but not tolerated.

    October 20, 2010 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  3. King

    The libs are pissed at obama because he allowed the repugs to bullied him into dropping the government option that would have kept these greedy insurance busines honest because he wanted be bipartison, and didnt want to be called a socialist by the american people Some time you have have to bite the bullet and do the right thing. Even though that would be the down fall of the whole democratic party.The people would have crucified them.

    October 20, 2010 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  4. clap

    Christ just lost my vote. He has a right to disagree with the new health care legislation but he did not have to try to demonize the president with that comment.

    October 20, 2010 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  5. greg in Jax

    "Dick Cheney/Sarah Palin endorsed" Rubio must Fail, or we all fail.

    October 20, 2010 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  6. johnnyhouse

    Your next enemy if you have not already found out about Obama care, will be the insurance companies. The ax has started to fall and the shafting by them has begun.

    October 20, 2010 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  7. kirk

    Who cares about any debates!! All politicans are crooks anyway!!they say what the people want to hear and then once they are elected they are set for life!!!!

    October 20, 2010 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  8. pmc

    When it comes November the 2nd all floridians need to understand that we are already having too many Rubio's in DC we floridians can not afford marco rubio .instead of casting a vote for rubio keep it for next election come' n up we simply can not afford a no vote from our leader who represent us when it comes to problem facing our great country/state

    October 20, 2010 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  9. Patty2012

    Crist is the typical "I want to keep my prestigeous JOB".....he doesn't care a bit about the people of Florida....he's not Democrat, he's not Republican...

    October 20, 2010 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  10. Charlie from the North

    Memo to GOP,

    Keep calling it "Obamacare" that way when as it starts to work we will remember who to thank.

    October 20, 2010 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  11. Dale

    Politicians are sick, lying people. "all of them" we need "ALL" new members across the board with "TERM LIMITS"

    October 20, 2010 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  12. Tony FL

    Idiot. It's Making Helathcare Affordable Act, not Obamacare.

    October 20, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  13. Riley

    Meek and Crist are both pathetic. The only candidate worthy of my vote is Marco Rubio.

    October 20, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  14. Dawn Lancaster

    Well, this is the first candidate that i have heard fight back when the republicans want to call the health care bill "obamacare," which I find disturbing on so many levels, first and foremost, it sounds like a bully in the school yard, same as the old "four eyes" slogan, not the comment i want from a potential leader. In actuality, if they want to re-name it, it should be more like "pubcare" because they had their hands all over it and would only let pass the bill they wanted.

    October 20, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  15. JM

    Take him down...

    October 20, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  16. Hazel

    Crist has lost stature with left, right and center and no wonder–does he have any firm beliefs? He is the poster child of why people mistrust politicians.

    October 20, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  17. NameNarn Hicks

    Charlie is Charlie. Rubio is hiding behind that "secret GOP boondoggle" called the Tea Party! America needs to wake up and see this "Tea Party" for what it really is!

    October 20, 2010 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  18. Jim in FL

    I was going to vote for Giv. Crist ... But, 'Obamacare'? Just like the old tuna commercials, it seems Charlie will say anything for attention! And I say 'Sorry, Charlie.'. I'm a democrat and I'll now vote Meeks!

    October 20, 2010 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  19. claudin fils aime

    Hello for me obamacare it s good I'm. 100 percent meek no independant gop or tea

    October 20, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  20. Boo-Yah

    I'm sick and tired of the bickering and the posturing. Just do what's right for Americans w/o any special interest groups involved. For the Republicans to use phrases like "fair and balanced" and "Obamacare", they are just using manipulative ways to mislead the public. For them to blantantly lie about Fair & Balanced you've got to know the rest of the stuff they feed you is BS.

    October 20, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  21. Meek the Geek

    Christ always said the meek shall inherit the earth. 😉

    October 20, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  22. Shmeckell

    How did it get the tag Obamacare? Obama campaigned against this type of bill in the primaries when Clinton was pushing it. If you need a goofy catch phrase it should be Reidcare. For that matter care shouldn’t even be included; the bill doesn’t reform the healthcare industry. All it does is regulate insurance companies not healthcare. So maybe Reidsurance would be more appropriate.

    October 20, 2010 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  23. lefty avenger

    I'd rather have Obamacare than no care at all. America should have straight up single payer universal health care ala canada and europe. Right now the system is pay $800 a month or die. Hmo's are just evil corporations out to make a profit for their shareholders and executives and don't care about any one but themselves. Health care is an oxymoron because no one cares about you unless you are rich. America is the laughing stock of the world. The only industrialized nation in the world without universal health care because wealthy people want to live it up on the misery of others.

    October 20, 2010 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  24. theo

    go ahead meek

    October 20, 2010 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
1 2