The Corner

Charlie Crist: A Man for All Parties

You might have heard that Charlie Crist, former governor of Florida, former Republican, and former independent, is now a Democrat. Prepping for a possible new run for the governorship, he has switched parties. He posted a proud picture of his registration form onto his Twitter feed:

Appearing on Hardball last week, Crist promised Chris Matthews that he would support mainstream Democratic policy positions, with Crist acquiescing to opposing “any kind of enforcement on immigration” and school vouchers, and being “totally for the public-school teachers’ unions.” He also told reporters, “I’ve had friends for years tell me, ‘You know Charlie, you’re a Democrat and you don’t know it.’”

I don’t know who Charlie Crist’s friends are, but they apparently aren’t very attentive listeners. Before he lost the 2010 Republican senate primary to Marco Rubio, Crist told everybody who would listen that he was a “true-blue Reagan conservative.”

I’m told he might have even thought about applying for a position at National Review, but he couldn’t be seen associating with a bunch of RINOs. . . . Well, okay, I made that last part up.

Here’s a list of Charlie Crist’s most conservative moments:

1. Crist earned the nickname “Chain Gang Charlie” during his time as attorney general of Florida. Crist, who wanted to be considered tough on crime, was instrumental in re-instituting chain gangs for Florida felons.

2. When running against Marco Rubio in the 2010 Republican primary for Senate, he brushed aside the idea that he wasn’t a true conservative: “I’m an anti-tax, pro-life, pro-gun Republican . . . I’ve never voted for a new tax. . . . If that’s not conservative, I don’t know what is.” Indeed.

3. Before he left the Republican party in 2010, Crist’s website read, “Charlie Crist supports making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. If given the opportunity, Charlie Crist will vote to make permanent tax cuts within individual income brackets, a permanent tax cut on capital gains, a permanent end to the unfair death tax and the end of the unfair marriage tax penalty.” A record Grover Norquist could be proud of.

4. Crist consistently received high marks from the Florida NRA. Some even accused him of doing the gun lobby’s bidding.

5. Crist also supported Florida’s Defense of Marriage Act, which says that gay marriages “are not recognized for any purpose in this state.”

6. While running for governor in 2006, Crist ran as an “anti-abortion” politician.

7. In 2010, when a reporter from Newsmax asked Crist if he would vote for Obama’s budget, he answered, “Absolutely not. It’s unbelievable. They just spend and spend and spend and tax and tax and tax. That’s exactly the opposite of what we’re doing in Florida.”

8. In the same interview, Crist suggested approvingly that Ronald Reagan would have supported a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and also expressed support for a hypothetical Israeli strike on Iran.

9. He also opposed Obamacare: “Number one, it would raise the rates people would have to pay for health insurance. Number two, it would raise taxes at a time when we don’t need to be raising taxes at all. And number three, it would have the incredible effect of taking about half-a-trillion dollars out of Medicare.” No word on how Crist feels now that the Congressional Budget Office has revised the $500 billion cut to Medicare up to more than $700 billion.

10. Crist opposed the Obama administration’s plan to try terrorists on American soil, calling Guantanamo Bay an “appropriate place” for terrorists. He continued, “To treat these terrorists as a common criminal and try them in our courts instead of a military tribunal seems to me exactly the wrong direction to go in.”

As for Crist himself, he always knows what direction he’s going — whichever’s the most politically convenient.

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