Appearing on CNN's State of the Union Sunday morning, Charlie Crist dismissed reports about the negative effects that the Affordable Care Act is having on Floridians, essentially dismissing concerns that Florida seniors might be losing their health care because of the law, and that claims that Medicare Advantage cuts are coming are simply scare tactics on the part of the GOP.
The once and possibly future Florida governor offered mostly bromides when asked about the serious concerns about the rollout of Obamacare, which polls show continues to be unpopular around the country and in Florida. But Crist's responses seemed to indicate that he thought all such criticisms of the law were just partisan politics.
The Republican Party of Florida issued out a statement shortly after the CNN appearance, focusing on Crist's reaction to the two health care questions posed by CNN host Candy Crowley.
The first was on the widely reported story last fall that up to 300,000 Floridians lost their health insurance because of the new law. The report was seized upon by the GOP and the media as an example of President Obama being wrong when he said people could keep the health insurance they had under the new law.
(PolitiFact originally listed the claim as "mostly false,' and now calls it "half-true.")
Medicare Advantage is a subset of Medicare plans that are run by private insurer. Last month the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced a proposed cut to Medicare Advantage Plans for 2015. There have been conflicting reports about how significant that cut will be, as they won't be clear until April.
When asked about this potential for cuts, Crist said they were just scare tactics being offered by the GOP.
If the ACA was so great then, Crowley asked, why are many Democrats reluctant to campaign on it?
Crist, who always mentions his closeness to President Obama, said he didn't really know, saying they out to "strengthen up."
"The President's a smart guy, and he's doing the right thing, and God Bless him for it," he added.
The newbie Democrats also acknowledged that the economy is doing better in Florida than when he departed office in early 2011, but said it could be doing better if Rick Scott hadn't rejected Medicaid expansion or the $2.4 billion in stimulus funds for high-speed rail. Crist also hit Scott for not supporting an increase to minimum wage.
But he added that the improvement in Florida's economy actually began during his last year as governor, thanks to Obama's stimulus plan that was able to keep teachers and firefighters employed.