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NRA: Charlie Crist a hunter? Maybe for political office, not deer

Picture 13As he postures to run against Republican Gov. Rick Scott, newly minted Democrat and former Gov. Charlie Crist no longer wholeheartedly backs the NRA's agenda.

So Crist will no longer get the backing of the NRA.

Asked about Crist's gun flip flop yesterday, the NRA's Florida lobbyist and chief Marion Hammer took rhetorical aim.

"Are you surprised?" she said in an email to The Herald. "I'm not surprised that Charlie Crist is now joining the gun ban chant of anti-gun Democrats. Recently, Charlie Crist has been systematically turning his back on many things in which he has claimed to believe. He currently claims to be a deer hunter. I suspect that the only thing he has actually ever hunted is political office."

Crist was quite good at that, winning three statewide posts and only losing two statewide Senate races: a longshot 1998 bid against incumbent Bob Graham and the once-surprising 2010 loss to Marco Rubio.

The NRA backed Crist over Rubio.

But other events, the economy and the highly conservative electorate that year, overtook the governor. But for the events leading up to the Rubio loss, Crist had a sixth sense for perfectly positioning himself. So, in that regard, his shifted tone on guns is little surprise as he tries to boost his Democratic bonafides. Chances are, most gun voters are conservative and wouldn't have voted for the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Crist. 

Crist needs to appeal to liberals now, and reversing course on guns is just another star turn as he prepares to challenge Scott, who's now an easy pick for the NRA. Hammer said she doesn't regret backing Crist.

"At the time, he was steadfast in his support of the rights of law-abiding gun owners. We remain loyal to our supporters," she said. "If our supporters abandon the Second Amendment for political posturing or political gain, it's a whole new day."

Until now, Crist had a sterling NRA rating on guns while he was governor. But his actual firearm aim isn't so good. At least it wasn't in 2009, when Crist took a trip to the Tallahassee-area Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center with the namesake and his dad, media mogul Ted Turner (picture left). Crist was better with a bow and arrow than a 20-gauge shotgun. Like many people unfamiliar with target shooting clay pigeons, Crist didn't follow through on his shot.

In other Florida gun news, the state sometime yesterday issued its 1 millionth active concealed-weapon permit. We probably would have heard far more about the permits had the recent shooting taken place in Florida than Connecticut, which has far more restrictive laws than the Gunshine State (more about that here).


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Nancy Argenziano

I sure think its very hypocritical of Hammer to speak about flip flopping.

When I served in the House and Senate I received A plus from the NRA/Marion Hammer because I believe in my right to have a gun for protection and because the many bills that came before me. I believed in.

When I Chaired the senate criminal Justice Committee I brought the gun bills up to have a fair hearing by my committee members. I did not cave to political pressure or media pressure, I did what OI thought was right and heard my constituents concerns.

This last election when I was not running as a Republican anymore (for various good reasons, I ran as an Independent), she caved to the R leadership and gave my opponent, a first term House Rep, who had no where near the votes on the very many gun bills (13 years of votes from me), she gave him a A plus and me a A, even though I had gotten A plus prior and nothing had changed. She endorsed him rather then stay out of the race or practice some loyalty to the Gun Membership that had always relied on factual recommendations, rather then political ones from NRA/Hammer.

I have the video of when I chaired the committee in the senate that heard the Stand your ground bill. The membership needs to know you are used for political reasons, and legislative members need to know she will throw you under the bus. She may not always pick the person that will fight harder for you. Politics!!!!! They know no loyalty. What a cesspool!

Nancy Argenziano

It is amazing how many entities in Tallahassee politics can lie to you then expect your steadfast support. For me this has nothing to do with the gun issue, I want to show the hypocritical nature of it all.

robert stockman

The only thing Charlie Crist stands for is for election.


Face it, Nancy. You were a media hound while in office and then became a next-office hound, who couldn't make up her mind what else she was or where to hunt for a paying elected job. About the only thing you knew you didn't want to be was a "bag lady", so you chased the taxpayers' dime wherever you thought you had a chance.

Come to think of it, you remind folks a lot of Gov. Shucking Chuckles, minus his grace and charm of course. There was a time when one could admire your taking the monied-interests to task, but that was before we found out how cozy with some of them you were, and how you didn't mind letting them and their cohorts help put money in your own pocket, both while you were in the Senate and on the PSC.

Nancy Argenziano

whasup. your name explains much about you. Yea, sure I was in it for the tremendous avergae salry of 27,000 for 16 years out of my life. Yea, I stood up for the people, much to the detriment of my own political career, or me making money like the Haridopoliss, or the Bozos who scream about the Government being to big but take many gov pay checks. Oh yea, and how about me not giving the big electric utilities their unjustified rate increases, I was told to just give them what they wanted and I could stay on the PSC for years making the big bucks. And you show me those "cozy" "Cohorts", don't give me lip service to try to dirty me you anonymous slick Willie chicken sh-t. Show me who these cozy cohorts are. Never happened or I'd still be on the PSC making big bucks like the sellouts the legislature picks along with the R party and their special interests who own them. Don't hide behind this page, and give facts not lies. You need to develop some testicular fortitude and show who you are. FPL? R Party, Hammer? You are a slime bag and you try to smear me, but you are just a pimp who hides behind these blogs.

Nancy Argenziano

Seems poor little "Whasup" got his feelings hurt because I pointed out the betrayals in Tallahassee, the NRA being hypocrites.

I will always have enemies because I stood up to them and I told the people what they were doing. They will always try to smear me but they cannot ever take my integrity, and they could never BUY me. So stick it Whasup. I do not have to be politically correct anymore and I could care less what slimy lying coward has to say. I can have fun now and say what I want and tell what I know more then ever and it feels great!!!!!

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