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In an interview with a local Florida TV station, governor and independent Senate candidate Charlie Crist says "I would have voted for" the national health care bill:
The part about "fixing" the provision that cuts "$500 million" out of Medicare is pretty ridiculous. First of all, it's $500 billion--with a B--not $500 million over ten years (of course, it's actually over $1 trillion in Medicare cuts during the real first ten years after Obamacare kicks in in 2013). And how exactly do you pay for Obamacare without those cuts, Gov. Crist?
But now, Crist says he "misspoke" in that interview. His campaign sent out a statement Friday afternoon clarifying Crist's position on the healthcare law.
"If I misspoke, I want to be abundantly clear: the health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much," Crist said in a statement. "Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program."
According to the Rubio campaign, this marks Charlie Crist's sixth position on Obamacare since March:
Position #1: Crist Called For Repeal The Night The House Passed The Health Care Bill. “Crist, a Republican who was in Tampa tonight attending the closing ceremony for the Gasparilla International Film Festival, said he hopes to get elected senator in November to help repeal the bill and bring a commonsense approach to healthcare reform. ‘What people really want when it comes to health care, in my view, is they want greater access and less cost,’ Crist said. ‘We just need to get it right and do it right,’ Crist said. ‘Do it right for the people.’” (“Crist Hopes To Repeal Health Care Legislation,” The Associated Press, 3/21/10)
Position #2: In July 2010, Crist Tells The Wall Street Journal That He Does Not Support Repealing ObamaCare. “Mr. Crist has made other policy shifts. Despite pledging as a Republican to help repeal President Obama's health-care overhaul, Mr. Crist now says he does not support such a move.” (Peter Wallsten, “Crist Uses Old Party As New Foil,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/20/10)
Position #3: Crist Tells Wall Street Journal That Those Calling For Repeal Are Only Giving Into The Primary “Purity Test”. Q: When the bill passed, you called for its repeal. A: “Well, I wanted it to be changed….. People get caught up in, ‘I’m going to say it’s going to be repealed’ like they’re hammering their fist on the desk and be impressed with themselves. That’s part of the purity test.” Q: Is that an example of something you had to do in the primary campaign as a Republican? A: “Perhaps. And I just don’t have to do that anymore. I’m liberated to a greater degree, and I’m very happy about it.” (Peter Wallsten, “Q&A With Charlie Crist,” The Wall Street Journal’s “Washington Wire” Blog, 7/20/10)
Position #4: Crist Says His Position On ObamaCare Has Been “Confused” And He Does Support “Repeal”. “FACT CHECK: Recent reports in the media have confused my position on the Obama health care bill. The Obama health care bill was too big, too expensive, and expanded the role of government far too much. Had I been in the United States Senate at the time, I would have voted against the bill because of unacceptable provisions like the cuts to the Medicare Advantage program. But being an independent, I have the freedom to be an honest broker for the people of Florida without regard for political party, and the reality is this: despite its serious flaws, the Obama health care bill does have some positive aspects. Repeal must be accompanied by a responsible substitute — repeal without passage of a substitute law protecting those with pre-existing conditions, closing the prescription drug donut hole for seniors, and allowing parents to keep their children on their insurance coverage until age 26 would be wrong. While I would not have supported the legislation, we have to recognize the positive components and work together across party lines to make our health care system more affordable for both consumers and the government. This debate must not be about political posturing; it must be about protecting the people of Florida and America, and I intend to do that hard work when I get to the United States Senate.” (Charlie Crist, “My Position, The Obama Health Care Bill”, http://www.charliecrist.com/?p=306, 7/29/10)
Position #5: Today, Crist Says “I Would Have Voted For” ObamaCare. ANCHOR: “Health care bill, how would you have voted on that?” CRIST: “I would have voted for it but I think it can be done better. I really do.” (CFLN, 8/27/10)