Florida's Crist Gets Nicknames for Position Changes

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Monday, 12 May 2014 01:02 PM

By John A. Oswald

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Call him Changeling Charlie.

That’s the new nickname from Miami Herald political reporter Marc Caputo for former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist – who once declared himself a strong conservative but now embraces his liberalism.

He even earned the name Chain Gang Charlie after proposing bringing back old fashioned hard labor for state prisoners.

That was in 2010, before he lost the GOP primary for U.S. Senate.

He was a Republican then.

Then he became an independent.

Now he’s a Democrat and running to become governor again.

Writes Caputo: "In addition to party switching, no politician has changed quite like Crist: Obamacare (against it, now for it), President Barack Obama’s stimulus (for it, against it, for it again), gay marriage (now for it), cap-and-trade global warming legislation (for it, ran away from it, for it again), taxes (he broke a no-new-taxes pledge in 2009) or offshore drilling (against it, sort of for it, against it again). Oh, and he also considers himself pro-choice and pro-life."

Perhaps one of Crist’s most stunning changes in positions came in February when, on the Bill Maher show on HBO he announced he supports ending America’s longstanding embargo against communist Cuba,

"The embargo has done nothing in more than fifty years to change the regime in Cuba,’’ Crist said in explaining his somersault.

And last week, it was revealed Changeling Charlie may go to Cuba this summer to emphasize his new position.

The re-election campaign of incumbent Florida Gov. Rick Scott was quick to jump on the Cuba trip.

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, the son of Cuban exiles, said the proposed trip was "a tremendous insult" to Cuban Americans who had voted in the past for Crist when he was Republican.

"He keeps evolving and devolving. Maybe he's going down there to explore becoming a communist," Lopez-Cantera said.

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