Charlie Crist: Opposition to Gay Marriage Was "Politically Expedient"
Charlie Crist, the man of a thousand stances, recently sat down for his first interview with the gay press. While a Republican Governor in 2008 he publicly backed Amendment 2, which banned gay marriage and civil union in Florida. During his ill-fated 2010 Senate run he held firm on that opinion. But now he's back as a Democrat, running for governor once again, and now in favor of gay marriage.
He says his original opposition was "politically expedient" and apologized for the stance.
While the interviewer from Watermark Press started questioning Crist about his support of Amendment 2, Crist interrupted him with, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I did that. It was a mistake. I was wrong. Please forgive me."
"When you look back at the circumstances, one could come to the conclusion that your shifts in opinion were either politically expedient..." the interviewer pressed on.
"They were," replied Crist. "They were. And it was wrong. That's what I'm telling you. And I'm sorry."
Crist further goes on to explain that he became a Republican simply because his parents were Republican, but says the party was always an "awkward fit" for him especially when it came to social issues:
The examples you cited were examples of me trying to be a good Republican. I couldn't do it anymore, and I'm sorry I did. I made a mistake. I'm not perfect... please don't hold me to that standard. And I'm sincerely sorry. I understand when it's necessary to say I was wrong. That's the journey I'm on... and I'm still on it.
As a Republican, on social issues I always felt I was a round peg in a square hole. I just didn't fit. But I tried, until I couldn't do it any more... until I had to say, 'Enough is enough.'
Crist though then brought up the example of Obama's former opposition for gay marriage and compared his evolution on the issue to the President's.
"I can't speak for the President, but I suspect that to some degree, like me, he felt his support for civil unions was political," said Crist. "And so he's finally saying, 'Enough is enough. I'm over this. I'm not going to play the political angle anymore. I'm tired of it.' Which is just the way I feel."