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Crist's run-from-the-past run continues (gay-marriage edition)

From Republican to independent to Democrat, Charlie Crist has run the gamut of major political affiliations since 2010. As a statewide office-seeker since 1998, the former Republican governor became an independent when he couldn't beat Marco Rubio in a GOP Senate primary. So Crist became an independent.

Crist now sees a good shot at unseating unpopular incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014.

But he needs to be a Democrat to do it. And he needs to explain some of his past conservative positions.

Today, Crist officially became a Democrat when he registered with the party before posing for pictures with several Pinellas County elections workers. "You know what I will call you three? Charlie's angels," he told three of the staffers.

Get ready for more of that, voters: Crist's treacly one-liners vs. Scott's aloof awkwardness. It's gonna be a helluva battle of style, with a little substance thrown in. Of course, Crist needs to run and win in what could be a crowded Democratic primary.

Crist said he has no time line for deciding about running for governor (no one believes you, Charlie), but he acknowledged people in the Obama administration - though not the president himself - have encouraged him to run. He also spoke of his displeasure with Gov. Rick Scott.

"I am disappointed. It started with rejecting the high speed rail. When I was governor we had several special sessions to try to tee that up to the us dept of transportation, working on Sunrail. We were successful I think in proving that Florida needed it, wanted it and was ready for it. So I think that was disappointing. De-funding education - $1.3-billion the first year. As a public school kid that really bothered me and disappointed me. The way the environments being treated. The disabled. We could go on, but I won't," Crist said, adding that public servant need to be compassionate.

"That's a big reason I'm a Democrat now - because they care, and they're compassionate."

Asked if he regretted any decisions or positions he made as a Republican over more than two decades, Crist said, "There probably are a few," but everyone grows.

How about his signing the petition in 2006 to enshrine a ban on gay marriage into the state constitution? "Would I do it today? No," Crist said. "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."

But Crist didn't just sign the petition. The Republican Party under him helped fund the gay-marriage ban. And he boasted about voting for it.

"I voted for it," Crist told the Tampa Bay Times outside the polling place at the time. "It's what I believe in."

This post substantially borrows from Tampa Bay Time's Buzz blog.

Comments

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Big Voice

Chameleon Charlie Crist has changed his patterns to suit his environment once again. ABC- Anybody But Charlie for Governor.

Jeffrey Marks

Charlie was outed years ago. He needs to come clean and explain why a gay governor would vote for anti-gay ballot issues.

Timothy

Are we stuck with a choice between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist? Someone please shoot me. We have one guy - a right winged Republican with a checkered past who stole from the government, and looks like a cartoon character villain. Then we have another guy who will say or do anything the polls say just to get elected, a complete and total phoney who accomplished nothing as governor?

Seriously, this sucks. I cannot stand either of these guys.

Rick

I wish you could explain what is so wrong with following the polls, Timothy. With any other person, we just call it populism. Some people actually call it democracy, because it means a person you elected is going along with what his people want, even if it's not always what he wants.

Gosh, you're right, that sounds so evil.

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