Florida Gov. Charlie Crist Accused of Flipping on Abortion to Get Pro-Life Votes

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 8, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist Accused of Flipping on Abortion to Get Pro-Life Votes

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
January 8
, 2010

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — Florida governor and current Senate candidate Charlie Crist has developed a reputation as lukewarm on pro-life issues. Now that he faces a competitive Republican primary challenge from pro-life House Speaker Marco Rubio, who is faring better in polls than Crist.

During the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Crist raised eyebrows with pro-life advocates when he said "I would rather encourage adoption. I would prefer not to change law, I would rather change hearts" on abortion.

Now, as a candidate in danger of not getting the GOP nod, let alone winning the general election, Crist appears to have changed his tune.

In a press release his campaign released today, his campaign said, "As Florida’s next U.S. senator, Charlie Crist will fight for pro-life legislative efforts."

Rubio has blasted Crist for months on flip-flops on other political issues and this could give him more ammunition to go after the governor for trying to appease pro-life advocates after appearing to scoff at their legislative attempts to reduce abortions. It seized on the new comments.

"Charlie Crist’s conservative makeover attempt isn’t fooling anyone, especially not pro-life Republicans who are well aware of his pro-choice record, support for maintaining Roe v. Wade and opposition to mandatory waiting periods for abortions," said Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos.

The Orlando Sentinel newspaper indicates Crist’s staff followed up on the press release and may have done more damage than good.

The Crist campaign says the “pro-life legislative efforts” include supporting the promotion of adoption and not necessarily passing more laws to stop abortions. The campaign told the newspaper in an e-mail that “encouraging adoption IS a pro-life legislative effort. They’re not mutually exclusive.”

The apparent course reverse could impact Crist’s already-tenuous standing with pro-life voters.

According to a mid-December Rasmussen poll, 79 percent of self-declared conservative voters say they would back Rubio if he garners the Republican nod while only 62 percent say they would vote for Crist. The two are now tied in the race for the GOP nomination.

Meanwhile, the campaign of pro-abortion Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek has jumped on the comments.

“Overall I think the governor is a very nice person. I don’t think he’s prepared to lead this state in the United States Senate. One, he doesn’t like to make a decision. Two, he’s very vague. And three, I believe he’s more politician than leader,” the Miami congressman told reporters, according to the Orlando newspaper.

“If any Floridian was to ask the governor ‘Well, how do you feel about health care?’ the governor’s response would be ‘Well, how do you feel about health care?’ That’s the politics that should not be involved in leadership here,” Meek continued.

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