Rep. Charlie Crist is running for governor of Florida for the third time, but while it’s a new campaign, nothing much has changed with the way he campaigns, except now Crist, is towing more of the Progressive talking point and lines of attack against his opponents.
Crist has no choice to move to the left of his political and ideological comfort zone, and his latest fundraising email is the perfect example of his new messaging play against Republicans.
Crist references Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent signing of the SB 90 Election integrity measure, a bill that Crist says “restricts voting rights” and “criminalizes offering food and water to people waiting in line to vote.”
“I spent the last week on a Voting Rights Tour talking to people across the state about the barriers to voting that they face. It couldn't be clearer that what we’re seeing out of Tallahassee is horrific,” stated Rep. Crist. “Earlier this spring, Ron DeSantis signed SB 90, an un-American bill that restricts voting rights (much like the one recently passed in Georgia). This bill makes it harder for Floridians to vote by mail, limits drop boxes, and criminalizes offering food and water to people waiting in line to vote.
While the bill does limit voting by mail and the use of ballot drop boxes, saying that it makes it illegal to hand out food and water to voters waiting in line is a bit of a stretch.
Voters waiting in line to cast their ballot can receive political handouts and food and water, but not when they are within 150 ft of the entrance to the voting location. So, if you expect to wait in line to vote, make sure you pack a lunch and drink because you won’t be able to receive a water bottle handout from anyone if you are within 150 ft of the actual voting location.
But the former governor of Florida wasn’t done with DeSantis. Crist continued with the “voter suppression” narrative and took a shot at DeSantis for excluding the media when he signed the SB 90 bill into law, accusing DeSantis of being “afraid of the free press.”
“DeSantis also barred every press outlet but Fox News from covering the signing ceremony in May. I'm not going to say Ron is afraid of the free press... but he's afraid of the free press,” continued Crist.
Crist is right. DeSantis signing of SB 90 was a media blackout except for Fox News.
According to DeSantis’ Communications Director Taryn Fenske, who was on-site, Fox News was granted an exclusive. The Floridian, Sun-Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, and Palm Beach Post, were among the media outlets that were not allowed inside the event.
But even some of the more Conservative, pro-DeSantis outlets were kept out because of the exclusive with Fox News.
Crist, who now has a voting record that Republicans will surely use against him, is currently in a contested gubernatorial primary contest with Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, and possibly with State Senator Annette Taddeo.
Since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, Crist has voting in line with the Progressive "Squad" and Speaker Nancy Pelosi over 90% of the time, and by doing so, has all but shredded his "Blue Dog Democrat" and centrist argument.
Taddeo told The Floridian that she was seriously considering a run against Fried and her 2014 gubernatorial running mate Crist.
Gov. Ron DeSantis could not be reached for comment regarding Crist’s fundraising accusations and his use of Progressive talking points.