In an interview by Jim DeFede for CBS News Miami, former Florida Governor and current U.S. Representative Charlie Crist criticized Ron DeSantis while discussing his run for Governor in 2022. Crist criticized DeSantis’ actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the transgender sports bill and Medicaid expansion. He also indicated DeSantis was an “uncaring person.”
Crist was asked if DeSantis deserves credit for shutting down nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ATFs) that resulted in a low death toll for senior citizens. Crist deflected the question by bashing DeSantis for not advocating social distancing and wearing a mask while also putting an emphasis on the 36,000 Floridians who died from COVID-19.
After being asked again if DeSantis deserves credit for his decision, Crist stated, “Maybe so, it’s good to get a couple of things right, but it’s better to do more right.”
Crist was asked what he would do if the recent transgender bill (SB 1028) came across his desk if he was Governor. “I’d veto it. Are you kidding me?,” Crist said. “We’re talking about people’s personal lives, their supposed to be the party that’s supposed to get out of your personal lives and let you live free, their doing the exact opposite, they’re like the anti-democracy party.”
Crist was questioned on his stance on expanding Medicaid through the available federal subsidies, something Florida has yet to do. Crist said he would unilaterally try to approve it by way of executive order and that the state needs the federal support.
He then attacked DeSantis and the legislature saying their position on the expansions of Medicaid reflects a lack of empathy and compassion for Floridians and the 800,000 individuals who could benefit from it. “To not have that kind of empathy and compassion… for the citizens of Florida and its 22 million people, you shouldn’t be in the office, it’s wrong,” said Crist.
When asked if he believed DeSantis was an uncaring person, “Sure looks like it,” Crist exclaimed. “Don’t judge him by his words, judge him by his actions. He’s not taking the money for those 800,000 poor people, and it’s offered by the federal government that I work in right now. We just sent him $3.5 billion to do it again and he’s not doing it.”
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Casey Owens is a writer for The Florida Capital Star. Follow him on Twitter at @cowensreports. Email tips to [email protected]