Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist was awarded a D grade by the National Rifle Association
, notes political blogger Javier Manjarres on Breitbart.
Crist's Democratic primary opponent Nan Rich got an F. The two face off on Aug. 26 in their party's primary.
Crist left the governor's office in 2011 as a Republican with an A rating from the NRA. He campaigned in 2010 for the U.S. Senate asserting that he "never wavered in his support for the Second Amendment."
After Marco Rubio, the tea party-aligned Republican, led him in the polls for the Senate race, Crist switched his party affiliation to an independent, but still lost to Rubio in the general election.
After endorsing President Barack Obama for re-election, Crist joined the Democratic party in December 2012. Last November, he announced his intention to run for Florida governor in 2014.
He is favored to be the Democratic candidate against incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
While governor, Crist earned "profound appreciation" from the NRA in 2009 for vetoing legislation that would have used $6 million from the Concealed Weapons and Firearms Licensing Trust Fund to fill a state budget deficit. He won praise, too, for signing legislation that authorized concealed weapons permit-holders to leave their guns in their vehicles while at work. He also appointed NRA-supported judges to the state Supreme Court, according to the NRA.
After he switched parties, the Progressive Caucus attacked Crist in a 2013 Miami Herald
blog for his earlier backing of gun rights. "Charlie Crist's support of the NRA did not waiver during his 20-year career in the GOP. It has only appeared to 'evolve' with his change of party identification."
Manjarres writes: "Charlie Chameleon received the NRA's highest rating marks helping him solidify many grass-roots Republican votes during his run for attorney general and then for governor. Could we expect Crist to change his mind on gun control if the polls show that he needs the gun lobby's support to win in November?"
A spokesman for Crist told the NRA that he favors "sensible gun safety steps" such as getting military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips off the streets and that he backs tighter background checks.
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