WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., spoke to WPTV about a wide range of topics, including his plan to win the Democratic nomination for governor and criticism he's facing from his opponents.
Crist wants to take back the governor's mansion, the same place he lived in from 2007 to 2011.
At the time, he was a Republican, then he turned independent, and in 2012 joined the Democratic party.
His opponents have called him a flip-flopper, but when he spoke to WPTV NewsChannel 5 anchor Shannon Cake on Tuesday during a recorded interview for "To the Point," he said he adapted to the change in society.
"Our country has progressed in many ways, it has on LGBTQ, as have I, as did President (Barack) Obama and has President (Joe) Biden. I think that is important," Crist said. "Somebody who has had the confidence that says, 'You know, I may have made a mistake before, but I am confident enough to admit it and change and do what you feel is right in your heart and share it.' That is not easy to do, but it is important to have the courage to do it."
When pressed about his position on women's rights, Crist said he has always been pro-life but supports a woman's right to choose.
"When I said pro-life, I'm still pro-life, meaning I'm for life. I hope most people are, and I think it's important to understand the distinction," Crist said. "When I say I'm pro-life, I mean I'm for life and I'm for a woman's right to choose and make her own decisions about her body."
Crist said if elected, one of the first things he will focus on will be resolving the increase in homeowner's insurance across the state.
"I dealt with it before. This was a big issue when I got elected governor the first time, and shortly after I got sworn in as governor, I called a special session to get the rates down, and we got them down 10% for the people of Florida," Crist said. "That's what I will do when I win on Nov. 8."
He said he also wants to focus on public education, teacher salaries and environment.
The Democratic primary for Florida will be held Aug. 23. He currently leads among the candidates, including Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and State Sen. Annette Taddeo.