Hardball’s Matthews tells Crist ‘You’re not a Reagan Republican’by Dara Kam | December 13th, 2010
Gov. Charlie Crist appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball this evening after attending the startup “No Labels” nonpartisan political group meeting in D.C. today.
Crist responded to Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s flat-out rejection of compromise (“I reject the word”) on 60 Minutes.
“It’s unbelievable,” Crist, an independent, told Hardball host Chris Matthews.
“To have common sense means that you have to compromise, trying to do what’s right for the people instead of the party. I think what you see is evidence of the fact that there are certain segments of both parties that view compromise as a dirty word. And if you say you’re willing to compromise, in other words use common sense, try to do what’s right for the people instead of the party, then you may get shunned by your political party,” said Crist, who was indeed shunned by Florida Republican leaders after dumping the party and running as an independent for U.S. Senate. Crist lost to Republican Marco Rubio.
Matthews called Crist an Eisenhower Republican, prompting Crist to identify himself with other moderate Republicans, including Ronald Reagan.
Matthews interrupted him.
“No, no you’re not a Reagan Republican. No you’re not,” Matthews insisted.
Crist pointed out that Reagan and then-U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill, a Democrat, worked together despite their ideological and political differences.
“They had the common sense and the civility to be able to get together after hours, a couple of Irishmen, and have a cold one,” Crist said. “We have to get back to that point where there can be personal relationships where some people in one party and those in another party are really treated as traitors if they dare to break bread with somebody else. Especially in this season, that’s just not the right thing to do. We need to come together for the country and put the country ahead of the party in order for the people to be victorious in the end.”
Former state Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Greenacres Democrat, also attended the “No Labels” session today.
Aronberg lost a primary race for attorney general to former state Sen. Dan Gelber, who lost to Republican Pam Bondi in the general election.
“When I was running for office, I was accused of not being Democratic enough,” said Aronberg, who had to leave the Senate to run for AG – and so is now out of a job. “That’s ridiculous. I’m tired of the hyper-partisanship in politics.”
- The News Service of Florida contributed to this blog.