Charlie Crist Hub




Florida's Charlie Crist Apologizes for Anti-Gay Positions, Promises Equality as Governor

Former governor and current Florida gubernatorial candidate and Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist gave an interview this week to Tom Dyer at Watermark Online in which he apologized for anti-gay legislation he has supported in the past and also made some promises for the future.

CristWhen you first ran for governor in 2006, you said that a ban on same-sex marriage was unnecessary, but then you signed a petition to place Amendment 2 [banning same-sex marriage] on the ballot…

…and I’m sorry. I’m sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive me.

I appreciate that, but I want to make sure I spell this out in full. After you signed the petition you said Amendment 2 wasn’t an issue that moved you, but then you ended up voting for it, saying you believed in it. Just three years ago, when you were running for the Senate as a Republican, you told CNN that you believed that “marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman.” And just three years ago, when talking about gay adoption, you expressed a belief that traditional families are best…

Tom… I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

Well again, I appreciate that. But I think it’s important for you to address this. When you look back at the circumstances, one could come to the conclusion that your shifts in opinion were either politically expedient…

They were. They were. And it was wrong. That’s what I’m telling you. And I’m sorry.

Later, Crist made some promises:

What you would do to advance LGBT equality as governor? Rep. Linda Stewart just introduced a bill to create a statewide Domestic Partner Registry. Given the progress made in other states it seems like a small thing, but even that faces many hurdles in the Republican-controlled State Legislature. The Competitive Workforce Act—an employment non-discrimination bill—can’t get out of committee. Marriage Equality seems a long way off, unless through some sort of court action. What can you do?

I want to do all those things. It’s not complicated. It comes down to one word: fairness. Everybody deserves to be treated fairly.

It must be liberating to be able to speak from your heart, instead of through some political calculus…

It’s wonderful! I wish I’d done it 20 years ago! Can’t you feel it?

CharlieCrist.com makes no mention of LGBT equality right now. Will that change?

Absolutely!

It won’t be sort of a subterranean thing that you trot out for appropriate groups?

Do I look like I’m holding back? We’re not underwater with this… we’re riding the wave!

Read more of the interview at Watermark...


Charlie Crist to Announce Run for Florida Governor on Monday: REPORT

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Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist will seek that office again, the Tampa Bay Times reports:

"Charlie Crist begins his comeback bid at 10 a.m. Monday, when he's set to announce he'll challenge Gov. Rick Scott. The event will be held at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg. Public arrival is 9:30 a.m., according to an announcement."

Crist is now a Democrat, and is now for marriage equality.


Charlie Crist Supports Marriage Equality

Republican-turned-Democratic Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist announced he's for marriage equality on his Facebook page last night:

CristSome great news: On Tuesday, Delaware became the 11th state to allow marriage equality. And just a few days ago, Rhode Island adopted a similar measure, which followed victories last fall in Maine, Maryland and Washington. I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here.

Crist is potentially planning a run for governor of Florida as a Democrat.

In December, Crist said he regretted signing a petition in 2006 for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times writes:

Seems to us he still has some explaining to do about his position. Was it an evolution or an acknowledgement that he felt the need to discard his true feelings in '06 to avoid antagonizing social conservatives? Crist back then called himself a "live and let live" Republican and at one point suggested he backed civil unions (back then that position still carried some political risk) in an interview with Jim Defede.

And yet he signed the petition for the gay marriage ban initiative, and sent campaiign mailers touting his support for "traditional marriage." He will address Democrats in Hillsborough County Saturday night. Can he avoid talking about this?

And nobody's forgotten about this and this.


Charlie Crist Regrets 2006 Anti-Gay Marriage Petition: VIDEO

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Former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist today filed the paperwork officially making him a Democrat, a party switch Crist announced after a holiday party at the White House last weekend.

Speaking with the reporters who turned out for the event, Crist was asked about his decision in 2006 to sign a petition pushing for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage in The Sunshine State.

"Would I do it today? No," Crist said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "I think the best way to judge where my heart is is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor - restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is - and the boss is the people of Florida."

Crist also said he signed up with the Democrats because "they care"; "they're compassionate," he said, contrasting them with Florida's current governor, Rick Scott.

Watch video of Crist discussing his marriage equality position, whether anyone in the Obama administration has encouraged him to run for governor again (yes) and his place in the political world today AFTER THE JUMP.

Continue reading "Charlie Crist Regrets 2006 Anti-Gay Marriage Petition: VIDEO" »


Freshly-Minted Democrat Charlie Crist: 'The GOP Left Me'

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"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it," so said former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist last night after leaving a holiday party at the White House, where he finally, after dipping his toes into the water as an Obama-supporting "independent" for a few years, registered as a Democrat. And according to Crist, it's the party's fault he left in the first place.

"What changed is the leadership of the Republican Party," Crist said. "As I said at the convention, I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me. Whether the issue was immigration, or education, or you name it — the environment. I feel at home now."

President Obama clearly approves: he reportedly congratulated Crist with a fist bump, which in Democratic circles is as good as being knighted, but doesn't necessarily guarantee Crist a spot at the head of the line for another gubernatorial run.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

Other prospective candidates include former chief financial officer and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston and former Miami-Dade Commissioner Jimmy Morales.

"Crist was an absolute warrior for President Obama and as a result, many of the party activists I talk to are willing to welcome him with open arms, and there is no question he is an extremely viable candidate for governor, though I don't think that beating Alex Sink in a primary is any kind of sure thing," said Democratic strategist Steve Schale, who worked on Sink's campaign as well as both of Obama's Florida campaigns.

Sink says Crist's move has not influenced her decision whether or not to run.

[Crist's Twitter image via JMG]


More DNC Speeches of Note: Tammy Baldwin, Eva Longoria, John Kerry, Charlie Crist

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More speeches of note from last night's DNC:

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) may become the first out gay senator if she wins in November.

"Our president has made historic progress toward equality. He repealed "don't ask, don't tell" so that no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love. Republicans want to write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin I know believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal, not less."

Eva Longoria:

"Mitt Romney would raise taxes on middle-class families to cut his own — and mine. And that’s not who we are as a nation, and let me tell you why: because the Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers — she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not....And just like our president and first lady, I took out loans to pay for school. I changed oil in a mechanic shop, I flipped burgers at Wendy’s, I taught aerobics and I worked on campus to pay them back."

Senator John Kerry:

"...after more than 10 years without justice for thousands of Americans murdered on 9/11, after Mitt Romney said it would be naive to go into Pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took President Obama, against the advice of many, to give that order and finally rid this earth of Osama bin Laden....Ask Osama bin Laden is he is better off now than he was four years ago."

And former Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist, now an independent, who looks ready to make the switch to Democrat:

"That's the leader Florida needs. That's the leader America needs. And that's the reason I'm here tonight, not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, but as an optimistic American who understands that we must come together behind the one man who can lead the way forward in these challenging times: my president, our president, Barack Obama! And if you see the president before I do, give him a hug for Charlie!"


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