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Charlie Crist (file)
As convention-goers gather in Tampa, one former Republican politician is speaking out in favor of President Obama. Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist, an ex-Republican, plans to speak at the Democratic National Convention next week in Charlotte according to The New York Times.
Further cutting ties to his Republican past, the former Florida governor explained his support for President Obama in yesterday's op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times.
"I've studied, admired and gotten to know a lot of leaders in my life. Across Florida, in Washington and around the country, I've watched the failure of those who favor extreme rhetoric over sensible compromise, and I've seen how those who never lose sight of solutions sow the greatest successes," Crist wrote. "As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation."
Crist, once a rising star within the GOP, praised the president for his handling of the "deep and daunting" economic crisis of 2009 and his investment "in our retirement security by strengthening Medicare," an important issue for many retirees home state. He didn't let his former GOP colleagues off the hook.
He slammed Obama's opponents that "would end the Medicare guarantee by creating a voucher that would raise seniors' costs by thousands of dollars and bankrupt the program." And he warned of extremist right-wing rhetoric creeping into the Republican mainstream.
"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," said Crist, who broke up with the Grand Old Party a few years ago.
Crist ran as an Independent during the 2010 Senate race and lost to the tea party-backed candidate, Republican Senator Marco Rubio.