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Tipsheet

Charlie Crist Being Open to Mask Mandates in Florida Shows He Must Really Want to Lose

Crystal Vander Weit/TCPalm.com via AP, Pool

Charlie Crist, who is currently running for governor of Florida as a Democrat in hopes to replace Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has had some memorable failures this campaign season. The latest one came on Monday, just a little over one week before the election which he is expected to lose.

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At a town hall meeting, Crist was asked "as Florida's governor, would you be open to mandating or regulating masks?" Crist suggested he would, in fact, be open. "I would be open to doing what scientists advise," he said, also sharing he was going to be wearing a mask on the plane, warning about a new variant. Crist closed by thanking the attendee for the "very pointed question."

As Twitter user Florida Grand, who posted the video, pointed out that Crist was not wearing a mask while talking indoors to a room full of people. 

Crist's comments are not only almost certainly deeply unpopular in Florida, which remained one of the most free states during the pandemic, but particularly rich given his debate performance against DeSantis last week. 

Early on in that debate, Crist referred to DeSantis as "the only governor in the history of Florida who has shut down our schools, the only governor in the history of Florida who shut down our businesses." DeSantis is known for a parental rights' advocate when it comes to opening schools back up promptly and allowing parents to decide whether their children will wear masks or not. Crist touted how "I never did that as governor," and claimed DeSantis re-opened schools for "political points." 

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Crist served as the Republican governor of Florida from 2006-2010. He ran again in 2014, as a Democrat, but lost to Rick Scott (R-FL), then the incumbent governor. 

Other failures from the Crist campaign include Crist disparaging DeSantis supporters by declaring "those who support the governor should stay with him and vote for him and I don't want your vote" the morning after he won the primary back in August, his choice in running mate, and claiming that his campaign manager who was asked to resign after being accused of domestic violence had to leave the campaign for a "family matter."

RealClearPolitics (RCP), which regards the race as "Leans GOP" and projects a "GOP hold," shows DeSantis with a +11.8 lead. Crist hasn't led in any polls included in the RCP roundup except for one from St. Pete's in early August, when it was +1 for Crist. Further, Democratic votes are not only where they need to be with early voting and mail-in voting in the state, but Republicans are actually outpacing Democrats when it comes to early voting. 


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