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Michael Schiavo blasts Crist's debate claim that he took a stand on the issue

Among the viewers to last night's debate between Republican Charlie Crist and Democrat Jim Davis was Michael Schiavo, the Pinellas Park man whose right-to-die crusade for his wife Terri, made national headlines in 2003. He didn't like what he heard.

When moderator Chris Matthews asked what he thought of the way Gov. Jeb Bush handled the case, Crist replied that while he respects his governor "on this, I think it's important to stand up on issues you believe in yourself.'' When Matthews asked Crist if he stood up when Congress got involved, he said: "Yes I did'' and Davis snapped back: "No he didn't.''

Schiavo, who has endorsed Davis, said he was outraged when he saw Crist try to rewrite history in that way. He recalls Crist, the attorney general, "said nothing, did nothing and he avoided this case like the plague,'' he told the Herald. "He chose to stay away from it and let Gov. Bush's legal counsel handle it.''

Meanwhile,  when Congress began to get involved, Davis led the fight to stop him, Schiavo said. Davis "stood up and said, 'I object.' He brought it to the floor and brought everybody back to have a debate. He got it stopped.''

Davis has used the Schiavo case to point out that while Crist has criticized Davis for his poor attendance record in Congress -- airing television commercials that poke fun of him by showing an empty chair traveling through Washington -- Davis has been "standing up" for issues when Crist has been absent.