Crist finds yet another topic on which to flip-flop; Update: And another

posted at 5:42 pm on August 30, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

This has to be some kind of performance art, right?  Even when Charlie Crist doesn’t need to flip-flop, he seems to want to make himself look like a liar.  Yesterday morning, he told Ed Henry on CNN that he supported a Constitutional amendment to bar gay marriage in the US because “it is a sacred institution.”  But hours later, Crist released a statement that insisted he had always been against a Constitutional amendment on marriage, as CNN reports:

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appeared to backtrack from statements he made regarding same-sex marriage during a CNN interview Sunday, saying in a statement that he does not support a Constitutional ban on the practice.

The comments appear at odds with what the Florida Senate candidate told CNN’s Ed Henry on State of the Union, during which he expressed continued support for a ban on same-sex marriage. …

“I was not discussing an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage, which I do not support, but rather reaffirming my position regarding Florida’s constitutional ban that I articulated while running for governor,” he said in the statement.

Oh, really?  CNN posts a transcript of the interview, in which it’s clear what Crist answered:

HENRY: Another big issue, same-sex marriage. Many conservatives like Marco Rubio support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. But this week, the former Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman came out and said he’s gay and he called on conservatives to kind of move to the political center and be more tolerant on this issue. You have previously said in your gubernatorial campaign, you supported a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Now that you’re trying to occupy the political center, are you still in favor of a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?

CRIST: I feel the same way, yes, because I feel that marriage is a sacred institution, if you will. But I do believe in tolerance. I’m a live and let live kind of guy, and while I feel that way about marriage, I think if partners want to have the opportunity to live together, I don’t have a problem with that.

And I think that’s where most of America is. So I think that you know, you have to speak from the heart about these issues. They are very personal. They have a significant impact on an awful lot of people and the less the government is telling people what to do, the better off we’re all going to be. But when it comes to marriage, I think it is a sacred institution. I believe it is between a man and woman, but partners living together, I don’t have a problem with.

HENRY: But governor, doesn’t it sounds like you having it both ways by saying live and let live, but I also support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. If it’s live and let live, why would you ban same-sex marriage?

CRIST: Well, everything is in a matter of degree, Ed, and when it becomes to the institution of marriage, I believe that it is between a man and a woman, it’s just how I feel.

Didn’t the fact that Henry mentioned “constitutional ban on same-sex marriage” twice in the question, and again in the followup clue Crist in to the topic at hand?  Does he pay attention when people ask these questions?  Of course he does.  However, after the interview, it must have occurred to Crist that his answer wouldn’t appeal at all to the Democrats he wants to court in  Florida, and hit reverse instead by claiming to have answered a question that Ed Henry never asked.

“Many conservatives” don’t back a Constitutional amendment on marriage at all, and a search of Rubio’s site for “marriage” only turns up references to tax penalties for married couples.  What some back are amendments to state constitutions to keep judges from imposing gender-neutral marriage by fiat.  But in this election,  conservative focus has narrowed to the economy, spending, and the deficit.  If Crist had just stuck with that, or even with his first answer, he would have done little damage to himself and perhaps some good.

Instead, Crist gave us yet another opportunity to see the political opportunist.  He’s not even bothering to hide it any more.

Update: And yet another.  Crist refused to join Marco Rubio and Kendrick Meek for a debate on Meet the Press on Sunday, even though he ripped Rubio for skipping out on a similar debate during the early part of the primary campaign.  Crist says he’s already committed to a campaign appearance, but as Jim Geraghty notes, Crist has nothing at all on his published campaign calendar.


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He plays on both teams.

carbon_footprint on August 30, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Flipping more than a chinese gymnast on speed!

FontanaConservative on August 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Unbelievable.

What’s his position on Al Qeada?

rbj on August 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM

How many of Crist’s campaign managers left after he defected?

This is just getting odd and it appears he is finally speaking for himself.

F15Mech on August 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Florida deserves who they elect to the US Senate…

d1carter on August 30, 2010 at 5:46 PM

This clown belongs in one of those gay french-canadian circus acts. He’s doing enough acrobatic feats to make John the F-word Kerry look like old dependable. This is what happens when you let mavericks run wild.

abobo on August 30, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Flipping more than a chinese gymnast on speed!

FontanaConservative on August 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Are these the Chinese who did or didn’t lie about their age as well?

upinak on August 30, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Maybe Crist should change his name to Wallace (the Waffle Whiffer).

Beaglemom on August 30, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Maw-widge

Couldn’t help it. It was the first thing I thought of.

rihar on August 30, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Instead, Crist gave us yet another opportunity to see the political opportunist. He’s not even bothering to hide it any more.

He hasn’t been hiding it since he bolted the GOP.

Didn’t the fact that Henry mentioned “constitutional ban on same-sex marriage” twice in the question, and again in the followup clue Crist in to the topic at hand? Does he pay attention when people ask these questions? Of course he does. However, after the interview, it must have occurred to Crist that his answer wouldn’t appeal at all to the Democrats he wants to court in Florida

I still fail to see why gay marriage is somehow considered a “Democrat” position.

JetBoy on August 30, 2010 at 5:49 PM

Two faces. Both Orange.

Naranja Charlie.

portlandon on August 30, 2010 at 5:49 PM

upinak on August 30, 2010 at 5:47 PM

I was hoping for raaaaaacist. But yeah :)

FontanaConservative on August 30, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Orange flapjack.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM

Update: And another

I stand by my earlier remark.

FontanaConservative on August 30, 2010 at 5:52 PM

I think he hit his head in a car crash and its screwing up his memory. yea that’s the ticket

tmitsss on August 30, 2010 at 5:53 PM

he seems to want to make himself look like a liar.

You see, people will appreciate his honesty about being a bald-faced liar.

ThePrez on August 30, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Oh what a tangled web the orange one doth weave.

Tav on August 30, 2010 at 5:56 PM

John Kerry called, he said Crist is making flip-floppers look bad.

rbj on August 30, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Hey Mr. Tangerine Man flip a flop for me.

carbon_footprint on August 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Just further proof that liberalism is a mental disorder. Charlie-Boy is in the ‘where it stops, nobody knows” phase. When a lib starts lying about lies its a good indication that the cliff is near.

volsense on August 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM

the only thing charlie really wants is a big office in DC where he can chase cameras. maybe he and schumer can have a race

r keller on August 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Quote Crist as saying he was misquoted. (Groucho)

Tav on August 30, 2010 at 5:59 PM

carbon_footprint on August 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM

LOL

d1carter on August 30, 2010 at 5:59 PM

He Crist! Good liars give details; great ones don’t.

Tav on August 30, 2010 at 6:01 PM

I think Crist is getting a bad rap here… he supports Florida’s ban…

ninjapirate on August 30, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Charlie Crist, face of the Rebublican Party with the mask pulled off.

Crist is a perfect example of the ruling class mentality that pervades American politics. If there’s a litmus test for real Republicans let it be to see if they are like Christie or like Crist.

oddjob1138 on August 30, 2010 at 6:01 PM

I stand by my earlier remark.

FontanaConservative on August 30, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Contortionist comes to mind. He is almost the color of a soft baked pretzel.

upinak on August 30, 2010 at 6:01 PM

Florida deserves who they elect to the US Senate…

Everyone deserves whoever they elect for whatever office. But if you just want to hate on Florida, let me ask you this. Who did your country elect for President?

Immolate on August 30, 2010 at 6:02 PM

Dear Charlie,

Here’s wishing you a wonderful speedy career of selling oranges on a highway off-ramp in the near future.

Love,

Everyone else

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 30, 2010 at 6:03 PM

there’s got to be a candy, Wonka joke in this flip flopping somewhere.

ted c on August 30, 2010 at 6:04 PM

carbon_footprint on August 30, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Beautiful. I have a tear of admiration in my eye.

abobo on August 30, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Charlie’s strategy: He thinks Meek and Rubio are going to dirty each other on “Meet the Press” and leave him sitting pretty.

What “Meet the Press” should do: an empty chair with a “Governor Crist” sign on the table in front of it. If it was Marco Rubio skipping out on NBC you can guarantee it.

Marcus on August 30, 2010 at 6:07 PM

there’s got to be a candy, Wonka joke in this flip flopping somewhere.

ted c on August 30, 2010 at 6:04 PM

Ever had Florida Salt Water Taffy?

upinak on August 30, 2010 at 6:08 PM

He doesn’t have the steadfastness of an Alvin Greene, that’s for sure.

There’s a tough choice: you’re in the booth and you’ve got a choice between Greene and Crist.

What do you do?

I run like hell.

SteveMG on August 30, 2010 at 6:09 PM

Charlie Crist is as opportunistic as a staph infection.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on August 30, 2010 at 6:11 PM

John Kerry called, he said Crist is making flip-floppers look bad.

rbj on August 30, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Mittens is on line two!

gary4205 on August 30, 2010 at 6:13 PM

I’ll say this much for Charlie: He’s consistent.

PackerBronco on August 30, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Christ knows all he knows about truth, honor and character that Arlene Specter could teach.

Which is zero.

tarpon on August 30, 2010 at 7:01 PM

But in this election, conservative focus has narrowed to the economy, spending, and the deficit.

Speak for yourself, Ed. Some of us still have consciences, convictions, & concerns about the unborn babies being killed every hour. It’s not all about money for all of us.

itsnotaboutme on August 30, 2010 at 7:08 PM

So he goes both ways,huh?

docflash on August 30, 2010 at 7:18 PM

Crist says he’s already committed to a campaign appearance, but as Jim Geraghty notes, Crist has nothing at all on his published campaign calendar.

He probably thought it wasn’t interesting enough to put on his calendar, an appointment with BiBi’s House of Tan….where he ordered carrot orange # 4 as his preference. :D

capejasmine on August 30, 2010 at 7:31 PM

Crist caught unexpectedly in a lie. Ah, again.

chickasaw42 on August 30, 2010 at 8:36 PM