Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist
says he won't shy from Obamacare as he seeks his former office again as a member of a different party.
"I think [Obamacare] is the right thing to do, and I feel that in my heart," Crist said in an interview broadcast Monday on MSNBC's "The Ed Show."
Crist served as governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011 as a Republican. He declined to seek re-election, opting instead to seek a U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Mel Martinez. He lost the GOP nomination to eventual winner Sen. Marco Rubio.
He now is a Democrat seeking to oust the Republican who replaced him in the governor's office, Rick Scott.
Crist criticized Scott for failing to set up a state exchange under the Affordable Care Act, and also for not accepting federal funds to expand Medicaid for Florida's poor residents.
Asked by host Ed Shultz whether he would raise taxes as governor, Crist said he did so before and would again if necessary. He does not, however, think it is currently necessary.
"I like to live within our means if we can possibly do so," Crist said.
He vowed to restore funding to education cut by Scott. He would pay for it with existing revenue if possible, he said. Otherwise, he would raise taxes.
Florida has a large Hispanic population, and Crist said he favors "comprehensive immigration reform" that would bring illegal immigrants "out of the shadows."
He does not agree with members of his former party who describe his position as "amnesty," he said. "I would call it freedom."
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