Expect former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to be called every name in the book by Republicans, including Judas, for endorsing President Obama over his Republican opponent Mitt Romney. In fact, Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry labels Charlie Crist as ‘repugnant’ for the endorsement as Hurricane Isaac bears down on the state. Crist endorsed Obama in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed in which he excoriates his former party:
As Republicans gather in Tampa to nominate Mitt Romney, Americans can expect to hear tales of how President Obama has failed to work with their party or turn the economy around.
But an element of their party has pitched so far to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students that they’ve proven incapable of governing for the people. Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims.
The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve.
Pundits looking to reduce something as big as a statewide election to a single photograph have blamed the result of my 2010 campaign for U.S. Senate on my greeting of President Obama. I didn’t stand with our president because of what it could mean politically; I did it because uniting to recover from the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes was more important than party affiliation. I stood with our nation’s leader because it was right for my state.
President Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America and Florida, and he built it by spending more time worrying about what his decisions would mean for the people than for his political fortunes. That’s what makes him the right leader for our times, and that’s why I’m proud to stand with him today.
Crist is now a registered independent, as many people are, but the Republicans are clearly upset that he endorsed Obama and the Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry labeled the one-time governor as “repugnant,” saying:
Today we have seen a repugnant display from a self-centered, career politician. While the people of Florida, and thousands of visitors who’ve traveled here, are facing an emergency, Charlie Crist has demonstrated, yet again, that his political ambition will always come first.
Beyond the appalling timing of this move, Crist now professes his support for Barack Obama despite spending his entire political career bashing the political agenda that Obama advances. Crist in 2010 said ‘I don’t agree with the guy on hardly anything he does.’ Source
No matter how the Republicans spin this, it’s proof that many people still haven’t warmed up to Mitt Romney and his side-kick Paul Ryan. But Charlie Crist and Mitt Romney have something in common — flip-flopping or mysterious evolution, as I prefer to call it. Before his 2010 Senate run, he supported these policies:
Crist supported capital punishment and gun rights. In 2008 he signed a provision that prevents employers from prohibiting employees’ bringing firearms to the workplace, as long as the weapons are secure and individuals maintain a concealed carry license.
His position on abortion issues is not clear-cut. In 1998 Crist ran for Senate as a pro-choice candidate, and has stated that he opposes overturning Roe vs. Wade. Crist has said that he opposes a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before a woman can undergo an abortion. In the 2010 Senate campaign, Crist first presented himself a pro-life Republican but after he lost the Republican nomination and became an unaffiliated candidate, had all pro-life statements removed from his website. On June 11, 2010 Crist vetoed a bill which would have removed taxpayer funding for abortion, as well as require a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion.
People change positions. I no longer consider myself a Democrat, but an Independent, who leans conservative on some issues. It’s quite possible that Charlie Crist was always more moderate than he let on, much like Mitt Romney, who governed as a moderate but is masquerading as a ‘severely conservative’ Republican. The Republicans have come out swinging against Crist, showing that they are more desperate than they let on.