Charlie Crist apparently wants to cast himself as a reasonable moderate in the Florida Republican primary for the open Senate seat. That may be understandable with Marco Rubio’s rise as a conservative star in the national political fundament, but it takes more than gainsay to make an argument for moderate positions. Call this a Kirk Watson moment; when the Palm Beach Post challenged Crist’s insistence that he wouldn’t scrap ObamaCare by asking him to identify anything he liked about it, Crist came up empty (via Newsbeat1):
Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican U.S. Senate candidate, told The Palm Beach Post editorial board on Friday that, unlike many Republicans in Washington, he didn’t think President Obama should scrap his health care reform proposal:
“There may be parts of it that you don’t have to scrap. There are three parts of it that I would like to see scrapped: It would raise taxes significantly, it would raise rates significantly and it would take half-a-trillion dollars out of Medicare.
“I think the real issue here, as it relates to health care, is that people want it to not cost so much and people want to have access to it. I think there is a consensus of agreement that the health care that is delivered in America is good. But it’s not easy to get it and it’s too expensive when you do get it.”
Asked if there were any parts of the bill he liked, Crist said:
“I don’t think a whole lot. Watching the discussion yesterday (Thursday) you get a chance to sort of see more of it be ferreted out. You know, I’m the kind of guy … I’m pragmatic. The stimulus is a great example. We needed the money. Every other Republican governor took it, too. I was just maybe a little more honest and straight forward about it. Well, shame on me for being honest. But, you know, as it relates to health care, if there are good ideas, I’m willing to look at them. And I would take that same approach to any issue in Washington.”
Asked again if there were any parts he liked he said:
“Not at present. No.”
Not one good idea?
“There may be. There may be. You know, I’m pretty focused on Florida right now. I mean, after the session I’ll be more focused on the issues in Washington. But I’ve got to do my first job first.”
In other words, Crist hasn’t even looked at the proposal — which is a big problem for Floridians. A major component of ObamaCare is the expansion of Medicaid, which will create a new, gigantic unfunded mandate on the states. Governors around the country should be perusing this bill carefully in order to plan for the financial disaster it will bring to states already awash in red ink. That isn’t just a “Washington” issue, but a critical issue for Florida taxpayers. After eight months, Crist still hasn’t bothered to look into it.
Governor Crist, that is your job.
If that’s the case, then why is Crist even offering an opinion on whether or not to scrap ObamaCare? Does he often just take positions solely on the basis of what his political opponent thinks? Maybe Floridians should vote for the thinker, and not for the poseur.