Second Ad Attacks Fla.'s Crist for Flip-Flop on Obamacare

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 03:48 PM

By Sharon Churcher

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Charlie Crist is facing major embarrassment over his flip-flopping on Obamacare in the Florida gubernatorial race.

Opposed to the healthcare reforms when he was an unsuccessful Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2010, the 57-year-old is now a Democrat and is all for the Affordable Care Act.

His Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott, just launched a second attack ad highlighting his dramatic position change, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Scott's independent re-election campaign committee, Let's Get To Work, has paid $2 million to buy air time to show "The Lie of the Year," a commercial based on President Barack Obama's infamous statements that people who like their insurance can keep their healthcare plans.

Story continues below video.

The commercial shows a CNN interview in which Crist says he thinks the new law is 'great.' It then cuts to a claim that an estimated 300,000 Floridians lost their health insurance because of Obamacare.

A new Voter Survey Service poll commissioned by Sunshine State News shows Scott leading Crist 45 percent to 44 percent overall and by 5 points among likely voters in the November election.

The poll also found that 51 percent of Florida voters would be less likely to cast a ballot for a candidate that supports Obamacare. Only 39 percent of respondents said they would vote for a candidate that supports the law.

Crist has spent most of his career as a Republican, serving as the 44th governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011.

But his career hit a major road bump when he declined to run for re-election in 2010, instead announcing on May 12, 2009, that he was seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by then-fellow Republican Mel Martinez.

After initially leading in the race for the party’s nomination, he was overtaken in the polls by tea party candidate Marco Rubio, and in April 2010, he quit the GOP and became an independent.

In the general election, he lost to Rubio in a three-way race, taking only 30 percent of the vote to Rubio's 49 percent and Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek's 20 percent.

His term in the statehouse ended in January 2011. Endorsing President Obama for re-election that December, he joined the Democratic Party.

The Miami Herald reported that he has found himself in an "Obamacare box."

When he was a Republican, he attacked the reforms because of the cuts they would make to the popular Medicare Advantage program.

"I don’t support the cuts to Medicare Advantage," he said in a statement. "In every major law, there are things you like and things you don’t. The President and Congress should fix it."

"Attacking Crist over Obamacare serves a double purpose for the unpopular Scott: It tags the popular Crist with an unpopular program, and it reminds Republicans that Crist is no longer one of them," the Herald reported.

The GOP pounced on Crist after he called Obamacare "great" on CNN.

"Such flip-flops and evolutions and pirouettes make Crist’s relationship with the unpopular law one of the most complicated in the nation," the Herald said. "Now it might be one of the riskiest."

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