Sen. Paula Dockery, one of the names floated as a possible running mate for Attorney General Charlie Crist, sharply defended Crist at a campaign stop at the Rising Sun Cafe in Brooksville. She praised Crist and told the crowd he was "pro-life" and that she worked with Crist's office when she helped sponsor a parental notification abortion bill that was passed by the Florida Legislature in 2005. "Is Charlie pro-life? You bet," said Dockery.
Dockery told the group of roughly 35 people assembled at the cafe that Crist is "not constantly reinventing himself," a veiled reference to the fact that Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher once had moderate positions on issues such as vouchers and abortion. Dockery also said that the Republicans got to be a majority party in Florida by uniting and asked whether they should support a candidate that causes "divisiveness" or "do we want a uniter?"
Dockery said afterwards that no one in the Crist campaign prepped her on what to say during the campaign stop. But her comments come a day after a bruising debate where Gallagher called Crist a liberal and attacked Crist for failing to articulate his position on Roe vs. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that authorized abortion. For the record: Crist says he does not want to see the decision overturned, but that he also would sign a law that bans abortion, except for rape, incest and life of the mother, if it were passed by the Legislature.
Dockery went on to say her comments about a "uniter" was not an attack on Gallagher but a reference to ongoing battles throughout Florida where Republicans are attacking each other in both House and Senate legislative races.