The Republican-turned-Democrat did not pull his punches against Scott during his testimony.
“Unfortunately, the last few years in Florida haven’t been so forward thinking,” Crist said, comparing Scott’s tenure to the voting laws he himself passed as governor which he said made voting much easier.
“In 2011, the state legislature voted for and Governor Scott signed a massive elections law designed, I believe, to make it harder for some Floridians to legally vote — and designed to encourage a certain partisan outcome,” he said, calling Scott’s changes: “suppression.”
The result of Scott’s changes, he said, was “unnecessary confusion and suppression on election day.”
He pointed out that this year, many Florida voters were still in waiting in line to vote for hours after the polls closed, and many were still in line when the election was called for President Barack Obama.
“Florida, which four years earlier was a model for efficiency, became once again a late night TV joke,” Crist said, in a statement clearly meant to say that things were much better when he was in office.
Scott said Wednesday morning saying that he wanted to expand the number of early voting days, and Crist did not begrudge him the change of heart, calling it “a good move.”
Of his own changes of heart and party — disavowing his opposition to gay marriage, and telling reporters Wednesday morning that he would support an assault rifle ban in the aftermath of the shooting, a reversal of his previous positions — Crist said it was simply a matter of having an “open mind.”
“It says that I’m a guy who’s willing to listen and willing to learn,” he said. “I hope that we all are. I think life is a learning experience, and I think that, you know, the older you get, the more wisdom you can accumulate. If you continue to use your mind, to keep it open, the opposite I don’t think is a reasonable alternative — i.e. a closed mind. I have an open mind.”
The man who once accused Marco Rubio of being soft on guns said Wednesday that the shooting had changed things.
“It’s nice to have a mind, it’s better to use it,” he said. “I’m using it.”