Vowing that she wasn’t going to “go easy,” Ana Navarro went toe-to-toe, face-to-face with Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist on Friday’s episode of “The View,” accusing him of being a “political mercenary” and telling him she “isn’t thrilled” with either of her choices for governor of the Sunshine State.
(Video: The View/YouTube)
“Charlie, you and I have known each other for 25 years,” the former GOP strategist began. “We’ve got history. I was very disappointed with you as governor. I’ve been a very harsh critic of yours, and so I too give you credit for showing up and sitting next to me because I’m not going to go easy on you.”
The preamble was an obvious dig at Governor Ron DeSantis, who declined to appear on the show.
A Floridian herself, Navarro stated, “I think I’m like a lot of Floridians who, frankly, are not thrilled with either candidate and I have to choose one.”
Bizarrely, Crist, who served as Florida’s governor from 2007 to 2011, replied with a “God bless you” and “May the force be with you for that.”
Navarro brushed the odd response aside.
“You’ve been in sixteen elections in the last three decades,” she continued. “In that time you’ve gone from a staunch Republican, to an independent, to a Democrat. Your own words, Charlie, have come back to haunt you, have been used against you.”
As an example, “The View” cut to an audio clip of a 2006 robocall Crist made. It was, as Navarro noted, subsequently used against him in a GOP campaign.
In the clip, Crist takes a stand against amnesty for illegal immigrants, claims he’s pro-life, disavows new taxes and big spending, and slams gay marriage and gay adoption.
Now, facing the nationally popular DeSantis, Crist has done a 180 on all of those issues.
Charlie Crist will be on The View today.
— Brendon Leslie (@BrendonLeslie) September 9, 2022
“Those are your words,” Navarro stated. “What would you say to skeptics like me who think you’ve changed parties because you’re a political mercenary and it was out of convenience? … How do you convince me?”
In response, Crist attempted to explain that it wasn’t he who changed, but the Republican party that has “metastasized.”
“I changed parties because my party changed,” he replied. “It started with the rise of the Tea Party back in ’09 and 2010, and it really has metastasized since then. And, you know, I just couldn’t stomach it anymore.”
While there are “a lot of good Republicans” in Florida, Crist stated, “the party has changed dramatically from what it was when I was a Republican.”
True to her word, Navarro wasn’t going to let him off the hook that easily.
“You were embracing a lot of the policy issues back then that Republicans still embrace now, so what has changed?” she asked.
Crist insisted it is the GOP that has “dramatically” changed, and argued to co-host Sunny Hostin that, as a Florida state lawmaker, he prevented pro-life legislation from passing and cast a tying vote to kill a bill that would have required a 24-hour waiting period for abortions, proving that, despite his robocall claims, he’s “pro-choice.” Additionally, he pointed to “an anti-abortion bill” that would have required a woman to view her child on an ultrasound before receiving an abortion and stated that, as a Republican governor, he vetoed it.
Heck, Planned Parenthood even endorsed him against DeSantis.
“In my six years almost now in Congress, I’ve got a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood,” he bragged.
As for gay marriage? He decided he was for it “about the same time President Obama did.”
Online, some viewers were not exactly impressed with Crist’s performance.
“Typical. I will say anything to get elected,” wrote one user on Twitter. “He was governor once and we got rid of him.”
Typical. I will say anything to get elected.
He was governor once and we got rid of him pic.twitter.com/UxU70ee7kD
— shepp (@ladylibation) September 9, 2022
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