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Crist walks fine partisan line to win support

Charlie Crist, in his indie bid for U.S. Senate, is appealing to Republicans and Democrats. And this leads to seemingly different messages in different parts of the state.

A week ago, speaking in the Democratic bastion of Broward County, Crist said "thank god" he left the Republican Party. But yesterday in the conservative Panhandle region he had a different message. He told Pensacola reporters he remains a conservative and the held the same ideology he did when he won the governor's mansion in 2006 as a "Jeb Bush Republican."

See a Q and A and TV clips below.

From the Pensacola News-Journal:

Q: Do you still consider yourself a conservative?

A: Of course. I'm a fiscal conservative, open minded on social issues. I think we need to be tolerant. We need to be watchful of our money. We need to reduce taxes. All are things important to the people of Florida. What I am is a commonsense guy. And that's what the people want more than ever.

Q: What's your message to conservatives who have supported you in the past?

A: I haven't changed. The party changed. I think what's important is that you stay true to yourself. That's what I have done, and that's what I will do in Washington.

Here is a clip of Crist's "thank God" comment. And here is a clip of Crist in Pensacola.

John Frank