Crist readies Democratic convention speech
August 27th, 2012
07:57 AM ET
2 years ago

Crist readies Democratic convention speech

Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, three Democratic officials confirmed to CNN Monday.

The move follows his endorsement of President Barack Obama on Sunday. Crist cited the president's leadership following the economic collapse and surrounding health care, as well as his disagreements with the GOP platform as reasons for his backing.

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"The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve," he wrote in the Tampa Bay Times.

After serving at the helm of the Sunshine State, Crist ran unsuccessfully as a Republican and then independent Senate candidate in 2010. He has practiced law in Florida since his Senate loss and switched his party affiliation to no party affiliation.

"The Democratic convention will be about bringing people together to continue the progress we've made in rebuilding our economy from the middle out, not the top down," one Democratic official said. "Gov. Crist can personally speak to this, and contrast the president's vision with Mitt Romney's, which caters to the most extreme elements of the Republican Party and undermines the middle class."

After the announcement, one Florida State Republican called Crist "the silly putty of Florida politics."

"He'll bend and twist whatever direction you want and if you smash him against the newspaper he'll offer you a poll-tested, mirror vision," Brian Hughes, a well-respected Florida GOP strategist said.

This is not the first time Crist has sustained accusations of playing politics with his party connection. In 2009, while serving as a Republican, he notably hugged the president, a visual used against him during his Senate run. He also touted elements of the stimulus bill signed into law by Obama.

– CNN Political Director Mark Preston and CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Name Natalie

    Easy – if Obama wins – we will continue with unemployment; BAD economic polices and a devastated progress – therefore anyone else who comes after Obama has a very easy and prosperous term.

    August 27, 2012 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  2. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Bend and twist , sounds like their talking about romney the tax cheat. Weather vane!!!!!

    August 27, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  3. anon-i-mouse

    The latter part of this article highlights what's wrong with American politics today. It's all about party and nothing about platoform or substance. We are doomed as a nation if we don't start putting country first and party somewhere much further down on the list.

    August 27, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  4. AlwaysRight

    Wow. This spells the end of the Republican party. Charlie Crist was a champion of conservatism, now he endorses Baracka Obama... LOL. Way to go CNN. Why didn't you make this big a deal when Joe Leberman all but left the democrat party? Your liberal bias is why your ratings are in the crapper.
    I can't wait to read the next headline in this series: Charlie Crist Blows Nose, followed by, Charlie Crist wipes butt, followed by, etc, etc, etc.

    August 27, 2012 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I do find it somewhat telling after all the DINOs embracing Romney's candidacy that here is a Moderate Republican who was pretty much ousted from his own party offering his high-profile support for President Obama's reelection.

    August 27, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Gov. Crist represented all Floridians, unlike the unindicted medicare scammer we have now. As governor, he helped students, teachers, workers, seniors, veterans, and homeowners. His reward was to be dumped by the crazy wing of the FL GOP. Canadian visitors in the winter have done more for our economy than the elected republicans now serving Florida.

    August 27, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  7. shirlee

    Charlie Christ,,it's a good move! This is NOT the Republican party as most of us know it. The nontransparency, just the response that Romney and Ryan have taken on keeping the media out, and telling them WHAT question's to ask ? The media is our information line out here.If it keeps up it will be the Democrats saying "Republican's take down that wall." If it's out of their comfort zone to respond to the unpleasntry's and tough question's we're up against today ,,,,it's only the beginning and I want a better out come for my tax money.I'll stay with President Obama rather than vote for the unkown and unresponsive.

    August 27, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  8. d.treece

    Amazing! A Republican that doesn't run with the pack!

    August 27, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  9. Mary Ann

    During my 35 years living here in the good old boy state of Florida,Charlie Crist was the best governor we have ever had.

    August 27, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  10. obama is Out Of Touch with reality

    shame we have a quitter who wants to be part of the kings crowd, he can leave Florida and dont let the door hit him on the way out.

    August 27, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  11. joe

    Let's see. He was chastised by the Republicans for hugging the president and for speaking publically in favor of some elements of the stimulus bill. So the Republicans are basically saying that if you agree with ANYTHING the president does then you're no longer welcome in the Republican party ? How's that for working across the aisle. Compromise is not in the Republican vocabulary. May the Democrats win big in November !

    August 27, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    Very smart dude. Nation needs Obama now than ever before. Congress is HORRIBLE, get rid off it. Yes, on Obama12.

    August 27, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  13. 1crusader

    This GOP strategist has it all wrong.It's his candidate , Romney, that bends and twists in whatever direction; and says and does whatever's convenient at any given moment to win favor.It's pathetic that the GOP treated Governor Christ the way that they did over hugging the president in gratitude for aid.Most of the other GOP governors were hypocrites, who railed against the Stimulus, but took the funds, and then tried to take credit themselves for getting them, like the president had nothing to do with it.

    August 27, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Michael

    I am not a repuglican and nver will be, but I respect this man for telling a truth most Americans have already observed! REPUGLICANS DO NOT DESERVE THE WHITEHOUSE! Maybe, if they would have worked with the President, and passed his legislation through congress for the benefit of the American people, we would really know if his policies would have created more jobs! But, this do nothing repuglican congress, with one main objective the last 4 years, to maike President Obama a one term President did not help this economy! Americans are not believing their rhetoric that, President Obama made the recession worst, or was inadequate. Because President Obama inherited a collosal repuglican economic mess and "REPUGLICANS" refused to help clean it up due to politics, racism, extremism, radicalism, obstructionism, and unpatriotic behavior! I SAY AGAIN REPUGLICANS DO NOT DESERVE THE WHITEHOUSE OR CONGRESS!

    August 27, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  15. Pete

    Hey Mr.Crist,please run for governor again,all is forgotten and when you kick Scott out please change the door locks..He's not for Floridians,never has even turning down millions in shovel ready projects because "he"didn't need them..Says he's gonna create millions of jobs across Florida and help lower the tax rates statewide,well no jobs,public sector layoffs just like all the other republican governors are doing nationwide and yes he's doing something with our taxes,he's raising them..So please get your thinking cap on and figure a way of getting rid of this scam artist,republicans as you know are ignorent as hell,even after his pleading the 5th over 85 times on his HCA fraud allegations,does Medicare,Medicaid fraud ring any bells Scott,but republican idiots are thick as mosquitoes here in the sunshine state and now we're stuck with him..You see what these other republican governors are doing,destroying the states they were elected to save,like letting the wolf in the hen house for breakfast and just walking away.Raising taxes,public sector layoffs,tax cuts for big corporations state wide,its previlent everywhere a republican governor is perched,he's a lap dog for corporate America at our expense,get rid of "ALL REPUBLICANS NATIONWIDE"your futures well being depends on it,patriots they're not,traitors they are!!!

    August 27, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  16. R.I.P. Damon

    I'm sure all the people who disparaged Artur Davis when he switched parties will hurl the same insults at Crist for his change of heart. C'mon, like how much did the Democrats pay him to sell out?

    August 27, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  17. Wes Scott

    The GOP hates it when one of their own tells the truth. No matter how much good Obama (or Clinton) did, does or will do the GOP will NEVER give them credit. It was okay for Mitt to lead the charge for universal healthcare in Massachusetts, but not okay for Obama to lead that same fight nationally. It was okay for George W. Bush to drive our economy $10.1 Trillion in debt (after inheriting a half trillion dollar budget surplus from Clinton), but the resulting debt increases from Bush policies that occurred under Obama are somehow Obama's fault.

    The party of "personal responsibility" NEVER takes any personal responsibility for their own policies and actions. The GOP is all hypocrites, saying one thing and doing the opposite. This is the reason why Obama will be re-elected.

    August 27, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  18. Anders Perillo

    Benedict Arlen Specter much?

    August 27, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  19. Anonymous

    This is exactly what the GOP deserves. They want to kick out everyone who does not agrree with the tea party. They are a party of no morals at this point. They hide behind GOD and GUNS only and expect everyone to fall in step to their lunacy. No one wants the government ran like a business and the businessman Romney does not have a clu about government period. He ony knows about stealing from the poor to give to the rich. Wake up America. Chis Matthews shut up Reince Priebus on Morning Joe this morning. He shut down all of the republicans lies and Reince could not respond. It was so funny.

    August 27, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. sonny chapman

    He hugged the President of the United States ? How shameful. Next he'll compromise his political ideologue to solve a problem affecting the Middle Class.

    August 27, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |