By John Jalsevac
November 2, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pro-life and Tea Party-backed Marco Rubio (R), the son of Cuban émigrés, cruised to an easy victory in the Florida Senate race over Gov. Charlie Crist.
Rubio was endorsed by a who’s who list of pro-life and pro-family groups, including Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council Action PAC, National Right to Life, and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA).
Fr. Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, has described Rubio “as a champion in the ongoing struggle to advance the rights of our unborn brothers and sisters.”
“He has been both a servant and a voice for the vulnerable. Marco Rubio is a pro-life warrior.”
Rubio has denounced politicians who “abuse” the pro-life label to win elections, but then who “abandon” the cause once they get into office.
In January of this year, Rubio promised that, “As Florida’s next U.S. senator, I will continue to be a voice for not only winning hearts and minds on life issues but also to support pro-life policies.” In particular he pledged “to support well-qualified judicial nominees who will interpret the laws of our land, not establish new policy from the bench as the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade 37 years ago today.”
At the same time, the election has brought a sunset on Gov. Crist’s career in the sunshine state and on the national stage. Earlier this year, Crist abandoned the GOP and launched an independent candidacy when the polls made it clear that Rubio was going to win the GOP nomination in a Tea Party landslide.
Once considered a pro-life and pro-family champion, Crist also changed more than his political affiliation, distancing himself from the political right on abortion and homosexual issues to court “moderate” voters.
In June of this year, Crist sealed his betrayal of the unborn, and the pro-life movement in general, when he vetoed a measure that opted the state out of health care reform’s abortion mandate. The bill also would have required an ultrasound to be performed on abortion-bound women. The legislation was seen as potentially a key step forward for the pro-life movement in Florida.
Pro-life activists reacted to this move with disappointment. “Governor Crist had the opportunity to stand with the overwhelming majority of Americans across the political spectrum who oppose taxpayer-funded abortion,” said Matthew Faraci, Spokesman for Americans United for Life. “By vetoing this abortion opt-out legislation, Governor Crist makes it clear that he stands with those who favor taxpayer funding of abortion.”
It came as no surprise then, when in September Crist made a radical about-face on the issue of civil unions and gay adoption as well, saying “the full range of legal protections should be available to gay couples.” He did not, however, go so far as to endorse same-sex “marriage.”
Today, however, voters returned an overwhelming veto on Crist’s strategy of courting “moderates,” and instead are sending the outspokenly pro-life and pro-family Rubio to represent them on Capitol Hill.