The once kind, gentle, and all-inclusive former Republican Governor of Florida, Rep. Charlie Crist, just pulled a page out of former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s divisive playbook when he referred to a large swath of Florida voters who support Gov. Ron DeSantis as being a “toothless crowd.”
During a Democratic gubernatorial forum or debate this past weekend that was hosted by the Manatee County Democratic Party, Rep. Crist, AG Commissioner Nikki Fried, and State Senator Annette Taddeo, all took political jabs at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, but Crist appears to have pushed those attacks a little too far.
"While Ron DeSantis is trying to score political points with the red meat, hard right, toothless crowd, his actions have consequences on Florida families,” said Crist.
Crist’s “toothless” remark can be interpreted as a condescending comment against older Republican voters, or it can be seen as a blanket attack against the Conservative Republican base of support in the state.
Charlie Crist says DeSantis is appealing to the "toothless crowd."
"While Ron DeSantis is trying to score political points with the red meat, hard right, toothless crowd, his actions have consequences on Florida families."https://t.co/pIMtYg0lB1
— Zac Anderson (@zacjanderson) April 25, 2022
Crist’s remark is not very different than when Secretary Clinton called then-Presidential nominee Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorable.”
Ironically enough, the former Republican ran and lost the 2010 U.S. Senate race to now-Senator Marco Rubio on an “I am pro-life, pro-gun, and pro-life” agenda, and spent months trying to convince the “toothless crowd” that he was the most Conservative senatorial candidate in that race.
Crist appears to be leading both Sen. Taddeo and Commissioner Fried in their gubernatorial primary race, so this blanket remark against Republicans seems off base, especially coming from the most-likable politician in Florida history.
In the latest Mason-Dixon public opinion poll conducted earlier this year, Gov. DeSantis was leading Crist by 8 percentage points, Fried by 11 percentage points, and Taddeo by 16 percentage points.
In the presumed 2022 midterm “red wave” election, DeSantis is leading Crist, Fried, and Taddeo combined by more than $70 million in fundraising.