Well, sort of.
Since Candidate Charlie Crist has repeatedly said that he has no interest in debating Candidate Nan Rich in the Democratic Primary election, I have decided to hold a WOTM mock “That’s What You Said” debate, and use answers provided by the candidates at various times in their political careers. You see, despite what Charlie Crist says, this election IS about the candidates and the voters are entitled to a side-by-side comparison of the candidates at the same time. Casting a vote means we trust that candidate, and in order to trust a candidate, we need to at least know where he/she stands.
That being said, let’s get started:
Women On The Move would like to welcome Candidate Nan Rich, and Candidate Charlie Crist to our inaugural WOTM “That’s What You Said” Debate!
Hello Candidates, and thank you for your participation. First Question:
Same-Sex marriage has been an important issue in this country for a while now, with more states deciding to allow people to marry who they love. Where do you stand on that issue. Candidate Crist, we will start with you.
Well, in 2008, as a Republican, I supported amendment 2, a ballot initiative to amend Florida’s Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Last year, however, 6 months before announcing that I would run for Governor again as a Democrat and needed the support of the LGBT community, I said I fully supported same-sex marriage. I offered an apology and a plea for forgiveness( and votes), to the LGBT community. In 2005, while running for Governor as a Republican, I opposed gay adoption, I felt a child was best raised in a home with the traditional mother and father and didn’t think gay adoption was appropriate. Now, as a Democrat, I am saying we should enforce the ruling of the DCA regarding adoption by gays.
Thank you Mr. Crist, although I’m still confused as to which position you truly believe. Mrs. Rich, same question.
I am a strong supporter of marriage equality, and believe that a person should be able to marry the person of their choice. During my years in the Florida Legislature, I was viewed as a champion of progressive causes, including LGBT equality. I am and always have been a strong advocate for gay adoption rights, having sponsored bills while in the House and Senate on this issue. Children should be placed in homes based on a loving, nuturing atmosphere, not the sexual orientation of their parents.
Thank you Candidates. Next question: Women’s issues are always forefront for Women On The Move, and women across this country. Abortion, and the right to make choices for our own bodies has been, and will continue to be, something the majority of women will fight for. Candidates, how do you feel about Abortion. Mrs. Rich, you can go first this time.
I remain fully committed to preserving women’s rights to decide issues regarding their reproductive health and privacy. During the 2011 and 2012 Legislative Sessions, the attack on women’s rights continued with 28 anti-choice bills introduced. In 2012, the most dangerous of these would have kept Planned Parenthood from opening any new clinics by requiring all clinics where abortions are provided to be owned by physicians. The bill placed other onerous restrictions on women and their ability to control their own bodies and own lives. Fortunately, a bi-partisan coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans were able to stop that bad legislation from becoming law. You can be sure that as Governor, I would veto any such similar legislation.
Thank you Mrs. Rich. Mr. Crist, your turn.
Well, since I first ran for Senate in 1998, I’ve gone back and forth on whether I’m pro-life or pro-choice during various campaigns. I identified as a pro-choice Republican during my failed Senate run 16 years ago, and after losing that race, I decided to run for governor in 2006 on a pro-life platform. Now that I’m running as a Democrat, I still describe myself as “pro-life,” albeit with a different definition: Personally, I have always been pro-life… I believe life is precious and should be treasured. I like being alive. You can read up on it in my new book, please go out and buy it!
errrr……Thank you Mr. Crist, and nice plug on that book you are trying to sell. Candidates, with the Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Marissa Alexander cases, Stand Your Ground and Gun Rights have once again been brought to the forefront in Florida. How do you feel about Gun rights. Mr. Crist, you first.
During my initial campaigns, I slammed my Republican primary opponents for being too soft on guns. I touted my NRA endorsements, I wanted to expand where concealed-weapon permit holders could bring guns, and I nominated gun-rights supporters to key positions, including the state’s Supreme Court. I even criticized Marco Rubio during our 2010 Senate primary fight for supporting a Florida law that required background checks and a waiting period. But, in December 2012, since I switched my party affiliation for the second and (maybe) final time to Democrat, and Democrats ramped up their support for gun-control legislation, I called for the renewal of the assault weapons ban and limiting ammunition.
(blank stare) uhh…ok Mrs. Rich, your turn.
I have been a strong opponent of most of the NRA’s agenda but I did support Stand Your Ground in 2005. It passed the Florida Senate unanimously, and I was a member of the Senate at the time. Stand Your Ground was never supposed to be implemented in the way it has been, and definite changes need to occur. I have embraced the Dream Defenders and other efforts to reverse or amend the law. Stand Your Ground was never supposed to give people a way to chase down individuals, as in the Martin case, and murder them, without being prosecuted or getting immunity. Children should have more rights than guns. We should pass sensible gun laws to prevent the all-too-common combination of mental illness and unrestricted access to guns. I have consistently received an “F” rating from the NRA, so that should definitely tell you how I feel about guns. Background Checks and closing the Gun Show Loophole are things I have always supported.
The Affordable Healthcare Act, Obamacare as it is affectionately called, has caused quite the controversy. Candidates, tell us what you think of Obamacare. Mrs. Rich, you first.
I support the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because it will benefit Floridians and provide access to health care for those who need it. I would accept every penny of federal money available to implement it.
Medicaid expansion under the ACA is vital to Florida’s economy and necessary for uninsured adults and children to access health care services. It would allow over one million more adults and children to have health insurance. In addition to children and people with disabilities who would qualify under the expansion, many of the newly eligible would be low-income, non-elderly adults without children.
It’s shameful that the Republican legislature under the current leadership has rejected 51 billion dollars that belongs to Floridians for Medicaid Expansion. As governor, I would lead on this issue and work with Democrats and Republicans to make sure Medicaid Expansion is implemented in this state. It is vital for over one million Floridians who need access to health insurance.
In 2010, running in a year with strong Republican momentum, I joined the chorus of Obamacare opponents, because I thought it was too big, and too expensive. I said it expanded the role of government far too much. Two years later, though, after losing my bid for Senate and changing my party from Republican, to Independent, now to Democrat, I endorsed President Obama. As a Republican, I hated it and thought it was the worst thing for our country. As a Democrat, I believe It’s the right thing to do. Our country needed to do it. I’m glad he did it. I’m glad we have it, and it’ll continue to improve, I believe. Read what else I believe in my new book, so pick it up soon!
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that concludes the inaugural WOTM “That’s What You Said” debate, featuring Charlie Crist and Nan Rich. While there are other issues greatly affecting the State of Florida, we have run out of time to discuss them here. What I do suggest, however, is that you get out there and learn about your candidates. Learn about their positions and whether or not they have always held firm to their policies and principles. Be knowledgeable in who your candidates really are, and make the decision on whether you trust them enough to cast your VERY IMPORTANT vote for that person.
Follow Leslie Wimes on twitter: @womenonthemove1
Because of the overwhelming response to this debate, we will be holding a second debate! We want the voters to submit questions this time! Email your questions for Nan and Charlie to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet them to @womenonthemove1 with the hashtag #AskNanAndCharlie14
The latest poll shows that currently, 34% of people in Florida wouldn’t vote for Crist OR Scott! Take a look here
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