Monday, May 25, 2009

The Gay Elephant in the NRSC's Room

Over the past week, I have repeatedly heard from Republicans troubled by the rumors that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the National Republican Senatorial Committee's choice in the 2010 Senate primary, is gay.

At age 52, Crist had never wed until he married Florida businesswoman Christine Rome two weeks before Christmas last year. Those who profess concern about "civility" would say -- or at least, should say -- that the rumors are thereby disproven. But . . .

Let me share with you a message I received yesterday from someone I don't know, and who wishes to remain anonymous:
I have no interest in creating a fuss for you or us. Just asking some questions, if you know what I mean and I think you do.
How are you/we/they going to handle the persistent rumors that Charlie Crist is gay? The first conservative blog to raise this issue is going to be slammed by the MSM, the Democrats and Crist’s Republican supporters for rumor mongering and the politics of personal destruction. But these rumors ain’t going away. LGBT groups have already raised the specter of hypocrisy about Crist being safely in the closet while denying gays access to marriage.
If Crist is gay and had sex with a man, what are the odds we are going to hear about it? If so, I would wager that any revelations will come out after he has won the nomination.
If Crist is gay but has been celibate his entire life, until, you know, he married a woman, what impact will the rumors have on conservative voters in Florida?
If Crist is not gay but the rumors persist, again, impact on conservative voters?
Mark Foley Redux?
On the other hand, what negative impact will a public discussion of the topic by conservatives have on the Rubio campaign?
Well, there you go. If I am "going to be slammed by the MSM, the Democrats and Crist’s Republican supporters," let the slamming begin.

This message, as I said, came to me from someone I don't know, but people I do know have said much the same thing: No matter what the poll numbers show, no matter how much money Charlie Crist can raise, no matter what the probability that Crist could win the general election, these widespread rumors indicate potentially serious trouble.

And don't think that liberals haven't noticed. My tipster forwarded a link to this Huffington Post story:
Crist's increasing shift to the right on social policy may be canceled out by the documentary film, Outrage, which reports on persistent rumors that Crist is a closeted gay man -- even as he states positions against marriage rights for LGBT people and his support for Florida's ban on adoption by LGBT folks. (Florida's law is the only such adoption ban in the country; some 4,000 adoptable Florida children languish in foster care.) As shown in Outrage, which opened nationwide just days before Crist announced his Senate bid, the allegations of Crist's accusers are likely to rankle not only the right, but stand to alienate voters who may not care whether their governor is gay or straight, but who do care about his veracity and integrity -- or lack thereof.
The tipster also sent me this Miami Herald story:
Outrage dares to name names, alleging that politicians of various degrees of power -- including Idaho Sen. Larry E. Craig, California Rep. David Dreier and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist -- have supported bans on gay marriage, gay adoption and AIDS-support bills from the relatively safety of their closets.
OK, this is not a story that really interests me, either politically or personally. But as my tipster says, you can bet good money that it's a story the MSM are going to be very interested in -- if and when Crist gets the Republican nomination.

The Huffington Post story references the reporting of Broward-Palm Beach New Times columnist Bob Norman. (Who seems to be turning "Is Charlie Crist gay?" into a career.) Critics will say that Norman repeats second-hand gossip, but (a) the gossip is very specific, and (b) Norman at least had the decency to call Crist and give him the opportunity to deny the gossip.

Norman names two people, one a Republican staffer who reportedly claimed to have had sex with Crist, the other rumored to have been Crist's male partner. Norman then linked to a Miami Herald story reporting that the alleged partner was a convicted thief who had worked on Katherine Harris's 2006 Senate campaign.

All of which may mean absolutely nothing and is irrelevant to the more fundamental problem of the NRSC trying to pre-empt an open-seat GOP primary by crushing the hopes of the notoriously studly Marco Rubio. But . . .

Did NRSC chairman John Cornyn and Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer take any of this into consideration before endorsing Crist? Surely, Greer must have been aware that these rumors had been dogging Crist for years.

If these rumors had not already been publicly aired by the Huffington Post and Florida media, I would have disregarded the anonymous tip. But the story is out there, and to have ignored it under these circumstances would have been a disservice to Republican readers concerned about the Florida Senate race.


  1. Don't worry, you are not the first to address the "Is Crist Gay" rumors. But, one correction. To my knowledge, this is Gov. Crist's second marriage. All the more reason to look seriously at Marco Rubio, who I support.

  2. Lefty cries of "hypocrisy!" every time a gay person does not support the gay cause du jour never made sense to me (then again, what from the left ever does make sense). Is it not possible for one to be gay - even closeted and gay - yet believe same-sex marriage is not a good idea for society?

    I don't believe men are naturally monogamous (regardless of sexual orientation). Am I obligated to oppose monogamous marriage?

  3. What? They have not attacked TRN?

    Damn their cherry picking eyes!

    Forgive me a linkwhore: the end:

    "ADDENDUM: Charlie Crist is gay. (STFU about his beard marriage) He makes Richard Simmons look like a cage fighter. If he is installed, every attack on his crappy policies will be spun as an attack on his gayness, and that would be really gay."

  4. It has long been an open secret here in Florida that Crist is gay. Frankly, nobody much cared until his sham marriage, which most people here viewed as a cynical attempt to improve his chances in the VP race. It, the marriage, was a calculated moe, and in my opinion, the new Mrs. Christ is the biggest loser.

  5. Ultimately, my friend, the issue of Crist's sexuality means nothing to this Republican. After all, I'd vote for the guys at GayPatriot in a heartbeat.

    What matters to this Republican is where he stands on issues that matter -- and on that score I think that many Florida Republicans are supporting Rubio.

    Of course, there is teh minor issue of who can win against a Democrat...

  6. Rhymes with Right, you are correct.
    For Floridians, it is not Crist's sexual orientation that bothers us, it is his obvious ideological orientation. So far the Dems in Florida don't have anyone with a prayer of winning, certainly not Kendrick Meeks. Why the NRSC insists on meddling in our affairs is beyond me. If they keep it up they will turn an easy win in to a huge loss. Many conservatives would rather stay home than vote for Crist.

  7. "The first conservative blog to raise this issue is going to be slammed by the MSM, the Democrats and Crist’s Republican supporters for rumor mongering and the politics of personal destruction."He's joking, right? They'll be outing him themselves, whether the charge is true or not.

  8. Well, the MSM and the Demonrats will, I mean. Crist's RINO supporters will curl up into a fetal ball and apologize profusely for the unconscionable homophobia of the right-wing extremists. Then they'll blame Rush Limbaugh for embarrassing them.

  9. Oh, he's gay. I don't know or care if he has sex with men or wants to even. But he is gay.

  10. I don't care if he's gay, as long as he doesn't bankrupt the country in a fabulouuuuus way.

    I do care that the idiot came out and said he would have voted for the stimulus in a week when EVERY source said the California voters were going to shoot down the tax initatives in an overwhelming fashion... which they did, across the state and across party lines.

    I don't care if he's butch enough to be Senator; I care if he's smart enough. Looks not.

  11. his room mate from lawschool is a friend of mine and says the rumor is BS...