This month we learned that Marco Rubio is backed by the Florida Family Policy Council – a group that was instrumental in creating the anti-gay marriage bill known as Amendment 2. So it should come as no surprise that Rubio doesn’t support repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
But as the repeal enters the congressional agenda this week, and with Florida Democratic Senator Bill Nelson now in support of repealing the ban, Congressman Kendrick Meek has been quick to point out that, so far, there is no difference between Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio on this issue.
Meek, Crist and Rubio will enter a 3-way Senate race in November, with Crist running as an Independent. But Crist “hasn’t yet acted like an Independent,” according to Nathan Click, a spokesperson for the Kendrick Meek campaign. The campaign points out that Rubio and Crist are identical on gay-rights issues – both squarely against.
Adam Sharon, the communications director for the Meek campaign, asks rhetorically, “Do the governor and Speaker Rubio still stand with the far-right instead of our men and women in uniform?"
“What Meek is doing here,” says Ron Mills, President of the Dolphin Democrats, “is he is calling on Charlie Crist to change his opinion on DADT since he’s now an Independent. Of course, Rubio isn’t going to change his opinions on anything anytime soon, but Charlie could if he wanted to.”
Mills goes on to add: “This is also a good way for Meek to get the word out that he’s always been for repeal of DADT and supports adding LGBTs to the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as well.”
As governor, Charlie Crist endorsed Amendment 2 at the behest of the Florida Family Policy Council and lately Marco Rubio has been delivering keynote speeches to the controversial group. For many gays in Florida, this casts Kendrick Meek as the only viable candidate to support their issues at the Senate level.
Time will tell if Crist bites at the line that Meek has cast his way – becoming truly independent of the FFPC, which has seemingly thrown its support behind his Republican opponent.
UPDATE 5/27/10: Governor Charlie Crist responded on Thurs by saying he now supports repealing DADT. It was only Monday that Christ told reporters he felt the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy" worked well.
Meek, seemingly unimpressed by the reversal, shrugged it off as a flip/flop that afternoon, taking the opportunity to show his sarcastic side:
"The only thing Charlie Christ stands for from one day to the next is his own self preservation," Meek said in a press conference.
Meek also scorned Christ for changing his stance on past political issues, such as oil drilling and teacher merit pay.