Charlie Crist Was Pro-Abortion in 1998, Video Surfaces as Rubio Debate Comes
by Steven Ertelt
March 26, 2010
Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — The first debate in the highly-publicized and contentious Florida Republican Senate primary is coming this weekend. As both candidates prepare to face off on Fox News on Sunday, the campaign of Marco Rubio is unveiling new footage of Charlie Crist showing him taking a pro-abortion position.
Although Crist claims a pro-life position today — saying he’s strongly pro-family and pro-life and has made these issues a priority throughout his career of public service.
Yet, he’s upset pro-life advocates with weak abortion positions and supporting embryonic stem cell research.
The video appears to show Crist flip-flopped at some point in his career or isn’t taking a candid position with voters about having once supported legal abortions.
The footage the Rubio campaign provided LifeNews.com today shows Crist engaged in a debate with Sen. Bob Graham during a Senate campaign. Florida voters see a younger Crist passionately articulating his views for abortion.
Asked by the late Meet the Press host Tim Russert if he would support a constitutional amendment banning abortions, Crist responded with the standard pro-abortion line the 1998 debate: "No, I would not. I think this is a very personal decision. And I think it is a decision that a woman should make and have the right to make after consulting with her family, her physician, and her clergy. But not her government."
Crist followed up that statement with a response to the a 1998 questionnaire for the St. Petersburg Times.
He wrote, "I am pro-choice, but not pro-abortion. I believe that a woman has the right to choose, but would prefer only after careful consideration and consultation with her family, her physician and her clergy; not her government."
The newspaper highlighted Crist’s pro-abortion views at the time by noting he "voted against proposals to require counseling and a waiting period for all women seeking abortions" — pro-life legislation that has proven to cut the number of abortions in other states.
In 2006, Crist appear to make a foray towards the pro-life perspective, while still retaining an underlying pro-abortion position.
"I would rather encourage adoption. I would prefer not to change law, I would rather change hearts," he said in 2006, according to an Associated Press report.
Yet, the Crist campaign, in January, released the statement saying, Charlie Crist is strongly pro-family and pro-life and has made these issues a priority throughout his career of public service. As Floridas next U.S. Senator, Charlie Crist will fight for pro-life legislative efforts."
And earlier this month, Crist said he would sign a bill that would ban abortions, like the legislation that received national attention in South Dakota in 2008.
He later clarified his position, according to AP, and backtracked to the view that he doesn’t favor changing laws to ban abortions.
He later clarified that the South Dakota law, set to go into effect July 1, is too restrictive, and he would only sign a ban if it also allowed abortions for victims of rape and incest. Crist added, Promoting a culture of life is preferable to me than passing laws," AP reported earlier this week.
Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos emailed LifeNews.com to comment on Crist’s varying abortion positions.
As these flashbacks continue to show, a lot has changed since the last time Charlie Crist ran for U.S. Senate, including his positions on a host of issues, though his willingness to say and do anything to get elected is still alive and well, he said.
Charlie Crist’s conservative reinvention attempt isn’t fooling anyone, especially not pro-life Republicans who are well aware of his pro-choice record," Burgos added.
LifeNews.com has emailed the Crist campaign for a response.
Related web sites:
Crist video on abortion – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFYJ3RaZVFU
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