FL Governor Rick Scott has a double-digit deficit in the polls against presumptive Democratic nominee Charlie Crist. This is no doubt due in part to the fact that Scott is a comically obvious super-villain with a well-documented career as a shady grifter.
But Crist’s polling advantage may also be partly attributable to the completely unprecedented, shocking and outlandish new strategy he’s adopted to try to win back his old job in a state that elected President Obama twice: Crist is unabashedly defending the president and Obamacare against lies from unpopular tea party extremists like Rick Scott:
Some Democrats are running away from Obamacare, but not Charlie Crist. The Democrat candidate for Florida governor is embracing the Affordable Care Act.
“I think it’s been great. The roll-out was difficult. I’m sure the president feels that way, too,” Crist said Sunday morning on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Crist noted that he had seen Obama in Miami on Friday.
“I know that he has a compassionate heart, he cares about people,” Crist told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “People getting health care is like a civil right.”
Crist dismissed concerns that seniors on Medicare Advantage could lose their doctors and said that issue was a fear tactic by Obamacare’s opponents.
“At the end of the day, this is going to be a very popular program because it’s doing the right thing for the people of our country and my state,” Crist predicted.
That’s crazy talk! As any major media figure can tell you, this sort of campaign won’t work because the tea party is a very powerful force. Hell, just this morning in Slate, Reihan Salam noted the following:
If the Tea Party were to fight crony capitalism as hard as it fights wasteful spending, and if its members were to train their anger on the Wall Street-Washington axis that deserves so much of the blame for our stagnant economy, it would be the most constructive and powerful political force of our time.
And if my granny had wheels, she’d be a go-cart. But Scott knew what to do when tacking into such headwinds: Go on a MediScare tour and rile up the millions of selfish old buzzards who are content to let anyone under 65 die in a gutter since they’ve got theirs. Didn’t quite work out for him (via the Florida Sun Sentinel):
“As I travel the state and I listen to seniors they tell me stories about how their plans are being changed, how they are losing their doctors, the coverage is changing, and so what I’m here to do is just hear your stories,” [Scott] said.
Their stories didn’t jibe with the governor’s view. When Scott asked one woman if she’d seen any changes in her Medicare Advantage coverage. “Not really,” she responded. A man said he was “very happy” with his coverage. Another woman said she and her husband are “very pleased.” Another man reported “no problems.”
Sonia Azam, 73, of Coconut Creek, told Scott she found orthopedic surgeons weren’t taking Medicare anymore. Scott asked the group if others were finding physicians were opting out of Medicare, and the response was a chorus of “no”s.
“I’m completely satisfied,” Harvey Eisen, 92, a West Boca resident, told Scott.” Eisen told the governor he wasn’t sure “if, as you say,” there are Obamacare-inspired cuts to Medicare. But even if there are, that would be OK. “I can’t expect that me as a senior citizen are going to get preferential treatment when other programs are also being cut.”
Ruthlyn Rubin, 66, of Boca Raton, told the governor that people who are too young for Medicare need the health coverage they get from Obamacare. If young people don’t have insurance, she said, everyone else ends up paying for their care when they get sick or injured and end up in the hospital.
Eventually, Rubin said, Obamacare will become more popular. “People were appalled at Social Security. They were appalled at Medicare when it came out. I think these major changes take some people aback. But I think we have to be careful not to just rely on the fact that we’re seniors and have an entitlement to certain things,” she said.
“We’re all just sitting here taking it for granted that because we have Medicare we don’t want to lose one part of it. That’s wrong to me. I think we have to spread it around. This is the United States of America. It’s not the United States of senior citizens,” Rubin said from her spot two seats away from the governor.
Okay, it was just one group of seniors, and maybe it was infiltrated by the local chapter of the Silver Alinskys. But when you’ve lost Del Boca Vista, you’ve lost Florida.