Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) took jabs at Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) over his previous political affiliations and supporting pro-life policies when he was a Republican. Fried and Crist are both running to unseat Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the 2022 gubernatorial election.
On Twitter, Fried posted a YouTube clip with the added caption that she is the only candidate who has been “pro-choice” her entire life, referencing an old clip where Crist said, “I am pro-life, I am pro-gun, and I am pro-family, and I am anti-tax and I always have been.”
“I’m the only candidate running for governor in Florida that’s been pro-choice my whole life and never sacrificed women’s health for political gain,” Fried said. “Think about that and tell me again who @FlaDems are going to nominate to take on and beat @GovRonDeSantis.”
We can't afford to dance around this primary any more. There's just too much at stake. We need to be working on the general now.https://t.co/aKtvIGzACZ
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) September 3, 2021
Fried also posted a robocall from over ten years ago entitled “Charlie Crist In His Own Words.” In it, he notes the policies he supports and that he is a “consistent, conservative governor that they can trust.”
Crist also responded saying it is “unfortunate you are attacking fellow Democrats now.”
“Commissioner, it’s unfortunate you are attacking fellow Democrats now,” Crist said. “Let’s all agree — I certainly do — that the real opponent is @GovRonDeSantis and his extremist, anti-choice agenda. We need to keep the focus there. That’s why I’m running for Governor.”
Commissioner, it’s unfortunate you are attacking fellow Democrats now. Let’s all agree — I certainly do — that the real opponent is @GovRonDeSantis and his extremist, anti-choice agenda. We need to keep the focus there. That’s why I’m running for Governor. pic.twitter.com/6XvbyPuGoE
— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) September 3, 2021
In a press conference, Crist also commented “I don’t attack fellow Democrats. I’m going after Gov. Ron DeSantis and he needs to be defeated.”
He continued saying Florida’s Democrats need to remain focused to defeat DeSantis, rather than picking fights with each other.
“What we need to be focused on is the real objective here and that’s to defeat Gov. Ron DeSantis,” Crist said. “That will continue to be my focus. I think we have to be unified in order to make that happen and to accomplish that and that’s exactly where my focus is going to continue to be.”
On the same press conference, Crist committed to using his executive power, if elected governor, to prevent legislation restricting a “woman’s right to choose.”
“If I have the honor to serve as Florida’s next Governor. One of the things you get when elected Governor is a pen,” Crist said. “I’ll call it a veto pen on any legislation that would restrict a woman’s right to choose.”
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Nikki Fried” by Nikki Fried. Photo “Charlie Crist” by Congressman Charlie Crist. Background Photo “Old Florida State Capitol, Tallahassee, East view” by DXR. CC BY-SA 4.0.