Well, why not? Why go through all the trouble to reinvent oneself and stop only halfway to becoming a Democrat? Four months ago, Charlie Crist wanted ObamaCare repealed, calling its impact “devastating“:
Crist says if Obamacare passes, it would be “devastating” for Florida. “I’m concerned about them trying to ram this through.”
Does his position on the bill differ from Marco Rubio, his GOP Senate primary opponent? No, he says. “I don’t think there are any differences.”
Though he did not attend the tea-party rallies on the Hill this morning, Crist says such efforts should be “celebrated.” And if the health-care bill passes, he says he will “certainly” work to repeal it, even at rallies.
Today? Not so much:
Mr. Crist’s opponents note that he was open to considering offshore drilling as recently as 2009. Some worry that putting a drilling amendment on the November ballot, as Mr. Crist called for in convening this week’s session, would drive Crist voters to the polls. “To find the governor now changing his mind again—against it to for it, to against it again—is just comical,” said state Sen. Mike Haridopolos, the incoming state Senate president. “The running joke is that his policy manual is filled with bumper stickers, and for serious people it’s just untenable.”
Mr. Crist has made other policy shifts. Despite pledging as a Republican to help repeal President Obama’s health-care overhaul, Mr. Crist now says he does not support such a move. He has long called himself “pro-life,” doing so even in the interview last week. He is now quick to add that while he personally opposes abortion, he would not seek to overturn Roe v. Wade and supports abortion rights.
Political expediency? Bah! Charlie defies such calculations:
“So many of the elected politicians in Washington seem to be shackled by the fear of a primary,” Mr. Crist said in an interview last week in this seaside city, where he attended a briefing on the effects of the Gulf oil spill. As an independent, Mr. Crist said, he is free to speak his mind without worrying about the most ideological voters.
“It’s liberating,” Mr. Crist said. “It’s a lot of fun, and I’m convinced it’s what the people want.”
And you should trust him, because Charlie has such a great track record of standing for his beliefs, even when those beliefs may not be popular. Right? Er …
He came out last year in opposition to the Supreme Court nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, but now says that he “probably” took that position because he felt pressure from the GOP primary. Asked if he felt differently now, he said: “Perhaps.”
“I want to do what is in my heart,” Mr. Crist said last week. “But other influences have some effect, to a degree.”