Charlie Crist and Nan Rich Go Left for Primary Votes

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 17, 2014 3:55 AM
Charlie Crist and Nan Rich

Charlie Crist and Nan Rich

With less than six weeks to go, the two Democrats looking to topple Gov. Rick Scott are trying to reach out to primary voters by stressing their liberal credentials. 

After winning three statewide offices as a Republican before leaving the GOP to run with no party affiliation for the U.S. Senate in 2010, former Gov. Charlie Crist is trying to appease his new party -- which he joined in December 2012 -- on the issues.

Despite seeking and winning office as a conservative, Crist insisted on Wednesday that Scott and the tea party had undermined his efforts to fight global warming.

“As governor, I put forward an ambitious agenda to tackle climate change, but Rick Scott and the tea party tore it down,” Crist maintained. “You deserve a governor who understands what's at stake.”

Crist also has been swinging away at Scott this week for rejecting federal funds for high-speed rail projects and trying to assure Democrats he is one of them despite his lengthy history with the Republicans.

The new Democrat is also paying homage to iconic figures of that party’s past. This week, Crist took a page from two of the leading Democrats of the first half of the 20th century -- President Franklin D. Roosevelt and longtime Gov. Al Smith, D-N.Y., who was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1928.

“I'm a happy warrior,” Crist proclaimed on Monday. “I will fight for the people of Florida -- and I'll speak the truth about how Rick Scott has hurt our home, but I'm not going to get in the mud like him. However, he's spent more than $20 million trashing me, you, and the values we share.

“So here's the truth: Scott's thrown all that cash at us because he knows that attacking us is the only way he can avoid answering the tough questions,” Crist continued. “It's time for him to explain why he left $2.4 billion on the table for high-speed rail, or why he's refusing to expand health care for almost 1 million people -- including 41,000 veterans. He owes us an explanation on why he won't take a stand on equal pay for women or on raising the minimum wage.”

Originally taken from a Wordsworth poem, the phrase “happy warrior” became linked with Smith when FDR nominated him for president in the tumultuous 1924 Democratic convention which, after 103 ballots, selected John W. Davis to go up against -- and get run over by -- Calvin Coolidge in the general election. FDR used the phrase again when he nominated Smith in 1928.  

In the meantime, primary rival former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich looked to trip Crist up by questioning his liberal credentials.

“Last week former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist was asked about the two ultra-conservative justices he appointed to the Florida Supreme Court – Ricky Polston and Charles Canady,” Rich noted on Monday. “He said, ‘they’re doing a great job.’ Canady and Polston are doing great if you are a corporation that doesn’t want to get sued for hurting people. They're doing great if you are the NRA. They're doing great if you believe political operatives should control the congressional redistricting process, and that the voters shouldn’t have a say in legalizing medical marijuana. Court appointments matter, and so does electing the governor who makes those appointments. We can’t give Charlie Crist the chance to appoint four more ideological conservatives to the Supreme Court.”

Rich also continues to call out Crist, demanding a debate with her primary rival. On Sunday, Rich appeared at a  Boca-Delray Democratic Club event honoring U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla.

“I was happy to speak to my fellow Democrats about my priorities as the next governor of Florida,” Rich noted. “Once again, my primary opponent Charlie Crist was not there. But, he can only avoid me for so long.”

Stressing her commitment to abortion rights, same-sex marriage and protecting the environment, Rich continues trying to get in front of primary voters as she looks to upset Crist in the primary.

Rich hit Indian River County on Tuesday night and insisted voters were demanding to know where Crist was.

“There were so many folks who appreciated that I took the time to come out to their community for the fourth time and they were asking, where's Charlie?” Rich noted on Wednesday.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (5)

Christopher M. Kennard
5:32PM JUL 24TH 2014
What great choices the Republicans and Democrats offer to Florida voters.

The Republican Party just got convicted of illegally interfering in Florida's elective process for formulating new voting district boundaries. In effect, they have tried to steal these elections taking place on November 4th by preventing voters from obtaining a fair and open process when redrawing voting districts that favored Republican Party candidates and incumbents running for re-election.

This violates the citizen's initiative ballot we passed in 2010 as a Florida Constitutional Amendment "Fair Districts" prohibiting this kind of illegal interference with our election processes. The Republicans ignored the people of Florida and the clear intent of this law as they pressed on ahead in their quest to dominate all elective offices in the entire state.

Now the Democrats are clumsily following their example by attempting to stifle real and meaningful primary debates between candidates vying for the slot to run as the Democratic Party's choice for Governor. It is little wonder that people do not trust the Democrats or their "leading" candidate.

Specifically, Charlie Crist is listening to political handlers who really erred when they told Charlie not to debate long term Democrat, Nan Rich. The Democratic Party is not requiring these debates to educate Democratic voters. Is there a political "fix" going on that will lead to a more serious scandal as time goes on?

I acknowledge that good ole' charlie is not the worst bought and paid for politician I have ever come across, but still . . . who is running the Democratic Party nowadays . . . I mean, behind the scenes? Who is responsible for this cutting off debate and not exposing candidates to the light of day?

As an Independent Voter who does not like political parties engaging in these kinds of political skullduggery, I am taking three concrete steps to make a difference in these elections.

First, I just changed from Independent Voter to Democrat so I can vote in the Democratic primaries on August 26th, 2014. And I brought another Independent Voter with me, who did the same.

If Charlie Crist does not promptly engage in debating Nan Rich, then he will not have my vote in August nor in November. If he debates, and hereafter is fully engaged to win the confidence and votes of Democrats, then I would certainly reconsider. I hold the Democratic Party responsible for making sure they don't lose all the "swing" voters like myself . . . it's your call, folks!

Secondly, I then intend to re-register as an Independent Voter again. Come November 4th I will vote to "fire" everyone running for re-election so we can clean house and start all over with people we hope are honest and will truly and competently represent everyone in their elective district. Currently, that is all Republican politicians, since I live in Ocala, Florida.

As may be necessary, I will vote again in 2016 to “fire” anyone running for re-election who is dishonest or incompetent.

Thirdly, I always bring someone with me to the voting booths to vote who may not otherwise gone to vote. I thus “double” my own personal impact upon any elections in a positive way. I encourage participation and increase citizen participation in every election in which I am able.

This last year, I encouraged 27 people to register to vote. They then signed, as newly registered voters, our "Use Of Marijuana For Certain Medical Conditions" petition so we all have the opportunity to vote for Constitutional Amendment # 2 this year. Most also signed the petition for protecting our fresh water, coastlines and conservation areas, Constitutional Amendment # 1.

Both Florida State Constitutional Amendments had to be written and placed on the ballot so we can vote on these issues (clean water and Medical Marijuana use) because our Florida politicians have refused for years to effectively address these matters. The citizens of Florida went around these corrupt politicians and successfully placed these matters up for a vote by all registered voters.

Let’s peacefully and forcefully demonstrate that the individual’s vote is not for sale in Florida and bypass all the politicos running much of the dirty campaign money engulfing our elections.

Government of the people, by the people, for the people . . . that's all of us . . . the 99% of American citizens and the other 1% who hope we continue to believe the falsehood of the "trickle down" theory whereby the 1% can reap most of the reward of our work and national productivity so they can turn around and graciously "take care" of our basic needs.

Frankly, I am for getting rid of both political parties and continuing the process of the people of this country counting for more than corporate profits. We, the people, can take care of ourselves . . . can't we!
12:12AM JUL 20TH 2014
Go Nan go!
Dorothee Custer
8:50PM JUL 17TH 2014
Charlie is just NOT a liberal person ..... he is a person who will run as anything, just to get elected.
Tyler Barrett
8:45PM JUL 17TH 2014
Nan Rich is the only true Democrat in the race. Charlie is a phony. Rick Scott's commercials hae already brought Charlie down in the polls. Charlie is not a true democrat. I would love to have ANYONE else than Charlie face Rick Scott if Nan were not to win.
Paul Cajka Sr
11:19AM JUL 17TH 2014
Hokey science and a money pit project left over from the 30's are two great reasons to tell Crist, "Sorry Charlie!".

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.