Terri Schiavo Becomes Major Focus of Florida Gubernatorial Race

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 1, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Terri Schiavo Becomes Major Focus of Florida Gubernatorial Race Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
November 1
, 2006

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The debate about Terri Schiavo isn’t over even though the disabled woman was euthanized a year and half ago. Her name is coming up in the Florida gubernatorial debate as the candidates fight over what their position really was during the height of the legal battle surrounding her life.

Attorney General Charlie Crist battles pro-abortion Rep. Jim Davis for the right to replace pro-life Gov. Jeb Bush, who fought to save Terri’s life.

Crist has been backpedaling on his position on Terri’s life and said in a debate Monday night that he spoke up against a Congressional bill that allowed Terri’s parents to take their lawsuit to prevent her euthanasia death to federal courts.

But his response drew outrage from Terri’s former husband Michael.

“It made my jaw drop,” Michael told the Palm Beach Post. “The man lied through his teeth.”

“The man ran from this like the plague. And now he’s going to say he spoke up? He did not. He didn’t say a word," Michael, who has endorsed Davis, said of Crist.

But Crist told the newspaper that he did speak up and said he told his colleagues in the Attorney General’s office he didn’t think the government should get into the battle between Michael and Terri’s parents. Governor Bush said Crist told him he opposed getting involved.

He also said he made sure his office didn’t get involved on either side of the dispute.

"We had the opportunity in the attorney general’s office to do many things to push that in a direction and we did not, which speaks volumes," Crist said. "People understood very clearly where I stood on that issue."

Meanwhile, Davis ripped into Crist and said he "misrepresented" his position on Terri Schiavo during the key days leading up to her death. Davis also said he strenuously fought against Terri’s parents’ effort to save their daughter’s life.

"I was up there fighting George Bush and the entire United States Congress, both political parties, and Charlie Crist was unwilling to take a position," Davis told the Gainesville newspaper.

Terri’s family hasn’t spoken out about Crist recently, but, during the primary campaign, Terri’s father Robert Schindler wrote an editorial criticizing Crist.

“Florida Atty. Gen. Charlie Crist let my daughter die. He had it within his authority to save her life, but he turned a blind eye to her suffering,’’ Schindler wrote.

Polls show Crist leading Davis. Florida Right to Life, the statewide pro-life group, has not endorsed Crist but has informed voters that he would be better on pro-life issues than Davis, whose voting record in favor of abortion is long-standing.