Flip flop Crist Uses His Old Party as a New Foil

July 20, 2010 05:35

Mr. Crist believes he has stumbled on a political sweet spot, amid polls showing voters are angry at incumbents and disenchanted with both political parties.


KEY BISCAYNE, Fla.—Florida’s Republican-led legislature will gather Tuesday on the order of Gov. Charlie Crist—and then is expected to quickly refuse his call for a state-constitution ban on offshore oil drilling in Florida waters.

While no real legislative action seems likely to come of the special session, the showdown has become a signal event in Mr. Crist’s campaign for the U.S. Senate and in his transformation from a rising Republican star to a political free agent.

Nearly three months after losing his Republican allies and campaign staff by leaving his party, Mr. Crist has rebuilt his political machinery and gained a footing among many general-election voters as he runs as an independent. One reason: He has used the Republican-led state legislature as a conservative foil to increase his appeal among centrist and Democratic voters.


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