Washington D.C. — Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary is being intensified with many contenders anxious to dethrone Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). Progressive candidate Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried (D-FL) has bashed perceived frontrunner and career politician, Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), going as far as to call him"pro-life."
Commissioner Fried recently told The Floridian that Rep. Crist's change in position on abortion was "disingenuous"
"This is one of those issues that you choose which side of the line you're on, and the fact that he keeps dancing back and forth trying to change his messaging is disingenuous," said Fried at a Miami rally when the Supreme Court opinion to ban Roe vs. Wade was first leaked.
Rep. Crist believes his record, even in his days as a Republican, reflects a pro-choice politician.
The Floridian caught up with Crist in Washington this week to ask about Fried's recent remarks accusing him of flip-flopping on the abortion issue.
Instead of pulling punches on Fried when asked how he defends her abortion jabs, Crist simply stated, "By looking at my record. It's a piece of cake."
"Look, I'm rated 100% by Planned Parenthood here in Congress, NARAL as well, Nancy Pelosi endorsed me, Kathy Castor my congressional colleague from Tampa Bay endorsed me."
Crist is so convinced of his consistency that he even mentioned his policy stances as far back as 27 years ago.
"In 1995 as a member of the healthcare committee in the state senate and a Republican, I voted to not support a 24-hour waiting period for a woman, Killing the bill in committee, never went to the Senate floor," said Crist before adding, "As governor, this is a fact too, I am the only candidate in this race who can say honestly say that as governor of Florida, I have already vetoed anti-abortion legislation and I'll do it again if I have to."
What stood out most about Crist's record on abortion was NARAL's recent endorsement of his bid for governor. When asked about the late-term abortion issue, Crist clearly articulated that he is in fact in support of abortions as late as the third trimester, but only when the mother or child's life is at stake.
"I was just asked about this. I support Roe vs. Wade, and that permits the first and second trimester, allows for restriction on the third—I think it's appropriate unless the life of the mother or the baby is at stake," added Crist.
Crist is considered the frontrunner in the Democrat primary in terms of polling and fundraising. Crist previously ran against former Governor and now-Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) and lost in 2014. Crist is the only candidate to have gubernatorial experience in the Democrat primary race.