GOP: Crist's Assertion That 6 Floridians Die a Day Because of Rick Scott Is Absurd
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Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the three-parties-in-three-years gubernatorial candidate, is spreading the word on his national book tour that Floridians are dying because Gov. Rick Scott failed to expand Medicaid.
Continuing his media appearances to promote his new memoir, Crist appeared on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” where he ripped into Scott.
"[Scott] said he was for it, Medicaid expansion, for about 30 seconds. I'm exaggerating a little bit, but not much," Crist said. "Didn't lift a finger to get it passed.
"What are the results? About a million of my fellow Floridians are not getting health care today and, I am told by friends at SIEU (sic), that means six people in Florida die every day as a result of that,” Crist said.
Calling it a “tough allegation," MSNBC’s Chuck Todd followed up with Crist after the former governor made that statement. “You’re saying people are dying and it’s the fault of not expanding Medicaid?" Todd asked.
"That’s right," Crist replied. “It’s not a stretch at all."
Todd called the comment a “tough charge” and Crist agreed with that assessment.
"You’re accusing Governor Scott and the Republican Legislature of not expanding Medicaid, saying it is leading to more people dying in the state of Florida?" Todd asked.
Crist doubled down on his accusation. "It’s not hard to figure that out,” Crist fired back. “It's common sense. Look at it. If people are sick and they aren’t getting health care, what happens? They usually get sicker or they die. I mean those are just the facts.”
Scott’s team fired back Friday afternoon as Florida Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, chairman of Scott’s campaign, offered a reply. Thrasher, a former speaker of the Florida House, led the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) when Crist left the GOP in 2010, replacing Crist ally Jim Greer who had been removed after facing accusations of financial irregularities. Greer faced charges of grand theft and money laundering and pleaded guilty last year. He now is serving an 18-month prison term.
Ethics were clearly on Thrasher’s mind Friday as he fired back at Crist, noting Scott Rothstein, an old Crist ally who was convicted for his role in a $1.4 billion Ponzi scheme, testified earlier this week that the former governor distributed judgeships in exchange for contributions.
"Charlie Crist is coming unglued,” Thrasher insisted. “Is the heat from his association with convicted felon Scott Rothstein getting to Charlie Crist after it was revealed that he may have sold judges in exchange for political contributions? Comparing opposition to any policy to homicide is crazy and irresponsible."
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.