Florida Gov. Charlie Crist had always opposed federal health care reform till today, when he told Scott Harris of CFL News 13 that he would have voted for it. He said, “I would have voted for it but I think it can be done better. I really do.”
On July 29, his campaign put out a “FACT CHECK: My Position, The Obama Health Care Bill,” wherein he said:
The Obama health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. But being an independent, I have the freedom to be an honest broker for the people of Florida without regard for political party, and the reality is this: despite its serious flaws, the Obama health care bill does have some positive aspects.
He continued on to support the “repeal” of the bill with an “acceptable substitute.” A little over a month before leaving the Republican primary, he said, “Once in the U.S. Senate, I will fight to repeal this government takeover of health care.”
After today’s CFL News 13 interview, his camp put out a statement saying he misspoke, “Apparently, based on an interview this afternoon, there may be some confusion regarding my position on health care. If I misspoke, I want to be abundantly clear: the health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much.”
There is little doubt that his opponents are beyond gleeful at his latest reversal or slip of the tongue. Rubio just sent out a release that began, “This is getting ridiculous. Charlie Crist today took his fifth, and then sixth position on ObamaCare, all in the span of a few hours.” And for Rep. Kendrick Meek, the interview only buoys his characterization of himself as the only “real Democrat” in the race.
But it’s another question whether voters will care.