May 4, 2022 - Politics

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist's abortion track record

Charlie Crist leans forward at a meeting

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist at a Voting Rights Tour event in June 2021 in Lauderhill. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Congressman and hopeful once-again-governor Charlie Crist pointed to his own gubernatorial record as proof that he's the right pro-abortion rights candidate to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis.

What he's saying: "Judge me by my deeds," Crist told reporters Tuesday after a meeting with USF St. Petersburg faculty to talk about environmental infrastructure.

Driving the news: Crist's comments came a day after a leaked draft of a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade was made public.

Why it matters: Crist asserts that his record, even when he was a Republican, makes him more qualified to be governor again than his Democratic opponents.

Flashback: He broke from party lines in 1995 to vote against a bill that would have imposed a 24-hour waiting period for women to obtain an abortion — killing the bill.

  • But while running for governor in 2006, Crist re-cast himself as "pro-life," per PolitiFact.
  • In the 2010 Republican U.S. Senate primary, Crist's campaign said he would "fight for pro-life legislative efforts," PolitiFact reported.
  • Just before he left office as governor, Crist vetoed legislation that would have required women to get an ultrasound before opting to have an abortion, calling it "punitive."
  • After switching parties in 2012, Crist solidified his pro-abortion rights stance, making it official on the now-defunct website for his 2014 campaign.

As a Democrat: Crist voted against 2017 legislation trying to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

  • That year, he voted against efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

What's next: If he gets the Democratic nomination this fall, he says voters will be deciding between "Charlie Crist, the governor who vetoed anti-abortion legislation, and Ron DeSantis, the governor who signed a bill that restricts abortion," Crist said.

Go deeper: Potential SCOTUS Roe v. Wade ruling could upend Florida governor race


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