Current polls might have Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis walloping Charlie Crist if he’s the Democratic nominee, but the gubernatorial candidate told the party faithful Wednesday night that things are about to change.
Meeting with the Miami-Dade Democratic Senior Caucus and the Democratic Haitian American Caucus of Florida on a Zoom call, Crist called the current confluence of events a “three-part nightmare for the Republican Party.”
“I can’t wait to see the polling a week from now,” Crist said, citing the fall of Roe v. Wade, a new round of national gun catastrophes and the congressional hearings on Jan. 6.
Crist, who appeared to be strapped into an automobile as he met with about 27 people, online broke it down. DeSantis doesn’t want to talk about how the U.S. Supreme ruling overturned the ruling for abortion and allowed states to outlaw it, Crist said.
“When it comes to Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to choose, Democrats good, Republicans bad,” he said.
On gun safety, Democrats win also, Crist said.
“Democrats are the party of gun safety, Republicans are in the pocket of the NRA” (National Rifle Association), Crist said. “Democrats good, Republicans bad.”
On the hearings into how violent protesters stormed the Capitol during the procedure to transfer power to President Joe Biden, Crist said the realization of how bad it was is spreading.
“What’s happening there is a disaster for the Republicans,” he said.
Crist did not mention his rival for the Democratic nomination for Governor, state Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, by name. He said, however, caucus members should spread the word that he’s the one who can beat this current Governor.
He highlighted his superior name recognition, his fundraising ability that outpaces hers, and his previous tenure as Governor, even though he was a Republican then.
‘Not only am I running for governor, I’ve actually been your governor. I know how to do it,” Crist said. “Tell Democrats … Charlie Crist as a Republican governor is the only candidate in this race who actually already has vetoed an anti-abortion bill. And Charlie Crist is the only candidate in this race, Republican, Democrat or otherwise, who actually restored rights of former felons, to give them the right to vote — 155,000 of them.”
Crist also highlighted his diversity bonafides: “Charlie Crist is the last Governor who appointed an African American to the Florida Supreme Court,” he said.
Crist said this is the most consequential race for Governor, maybe in Florida history, because of how DeSantis is using the Governor’s race to run for President.
“This is probably the most important gubernatorial election Florida’s ever had and in large measure because of the guy we’re running against — he’s a nightmare, on every level, every count,” Crist said. “Whether you’re concerned about minority rights, civil rights, human rights, women’s rights, you know, across the board he’s chopped away at it over and over and over again.
“… All he wants to do are things … he thinks are going to help improve his opportunity in a Republican Primary for President in 2024,” Crist added.
DeSantis has repeatedly said he’s not running for President.