Charlie vs. Charlie: Abortion!

I know what you’re thinking, “back on Charlie Crist and his flip-flopping again?” Well yes. The reality is there are too many flip-flops to cover in just one article. As stated in my last article, this is a mini-series on the many flip-flops by Charlie Crist. Charlie Crist thinks he should be the governor of Florida, again. But this time, he wants to be the Democratic governor of Florida. In late 2011, Charlie Crist flip-flopped on the Republican Party. In doing so, he changed many of his positions almost simultaneously. However, on the issue of abortion, Charlie’s position has never held any real credibility. Let’s start way back in 1992.


 In 1992, while running for state senator of Florida, Charlie said he was pro-choice, but was against state funded abortions. Charlie won his seat in 1992, and then went on in 1995 to serve on the senate health care committee, where he voted against a bill that would have required a 24 hour waiting period for a woman to get an abortion. He stated then: “I generally don’t like the government telling people what to do, that’s why I’m a Republican.” However, just a year later, on that same committee, he voted to approve a waiting period bill, after he proposed an amendment to restrict the bill to women under the age of 18. The news reports at that time said Crist supported abortion rights, but wanted minors to be adequately counseled. The bill ultimately failed in the state house. In March of 1998, while still in the state senate, Charlie took a pro-life position when he voted to override then Gov. Lawton Chiles’ veto of a bill that opponents called a “partial birth” abortion. This is an abortion procedure, which is done late in the pregnancy. Both the state house and senate successfully voted to override the veto.

 In 1998, Charlie Crist first ran for the United States Senate. In a questionnaire for the times, he said: “I am pro-choice, but not pro-abortion. I believe that a woman has a right to choose, but would prefer only after careful consideration and consultation with her family, physician and her clergy. Not her government.” When debating his Democratic opponent, then incumbent Senator, Bob Graham, Crist was asked if he would support a constitutional amendment banning abortion. He answered no.


 In 2006, Charlie Crist ran for governor of Florida, he again said: “I don’t think that politicians ought to put themselves in the place of physicians.” But while in Pensacola, he told a priest he would sign a bill outlawing abortions, except when the mother’s life is at stake. But when asked by an AP reporter, he said he would only sign such a bill if it included exceptions for rape and incest. In that Republican primary, Crist launched an attack ad on his Republican opponent, claiming his opponent was pro-choice, and he, Crist, was pro-life. In 2006, Charlie Crist stated again that he was pro-life, but doesn’t believe he should impose his will on other people.


 In January of 2010, Crist’s Republican U.S. Senate campaign released a statement stating he would “fight for pro-life legislative efforts.” In April 2010, his campaign lagged well behind his primary opponent, Marco Rubio, Crist decided to leave the Republican Party and run as a “No-Party affiliation” candidate. Just weeks later, he vetoed a bill that would have required women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound. He even went so far as to call it “mean-spirited.”


 Now on his campaign website, Crist states: “Charlie supports a woman’s right to make her own health-care decisions.”


 Even before switching parties, Charlie Crist voted both for, and against pro-life bills. Charlie Crist has never been consistent on this issue. If he can’t be a consistent voice on issues like education and abortion, how can we trust him to be consistent as governor of Florida, again? The answer is, we can’t. Charlie Crist flip-flops so much, even Charlie Crist doesn’t know where he stands on the issues.