Crist: “I’m A True Blue Reagan Conservative”

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

It’s hard to leave a political party.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist bolted the GOP to run for the Senate as an independent when it looked as if former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, would clean his clock in the Republican primary. Of course, Crist couldn’t say he was doing so to save his political career. Instead, he contended that the system was to blame—and that “the people” needed leaders who would break out of partisan molds.

During the April 29 announcement of his decision to run for the Senate without party affiliation, Crist declared, “I haven’t supported an idea because it’s a Republican idea or it’s a Democratic idea.” In a subsequent campaign video he exclaimed, “The parties don’t work anymore.” And his campaign even dropped the word “conservative” from its website, as the newly-independent Crist started making a play for Democratic voters.

But it wasn’t that long ago that Crist was bragging about his conservative and GOP credentials. On February 9, his campaign issued a press release headlined, “Crist: I’m a True Blue Reagan Conservative.” The campaign was touting an interview Crist had done with Newsmax.com, a conservative site, in which he had proclaimed himself a conservative GOPer, repeatedly citing Ronald Reagan and noting, “I’m an anti-tax, pro-life, pro-gun Republican.”

This is a trap that Crist cannot escape. Any pol who switches party or dumps one to run as an independent will leave behind a trail of inconvenient utterances. Still, next time a reporter questions Crist, he or she ought to ask, “Are you still a True Blue Reagan conservative?” And, if not, what happened to your core beliefs between since February?

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate