(CNN) – Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who served his state as a Republican then sought office as an independent, tweeted Friday night that he switched his party affiliation to Democrat.
Crist posted to Twitter a photo of himself holding voter registration paperwork and the message, "Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @BarackObama!"
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The news may come as little surprise to Sunshine State Republicans who watched him campaign for Obama’s re-election and speak at the Democratic National Convention. In 2009 they noted his literal embrace of Obama at an event in 2009, when he was a Republican and serving as governor.
"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you know it,'" Crist told the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.
Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @BarackObama! http://t.co/lQVn7DKf— Charlie Crist (@charliecristfl) December 08, 2012
Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @BarackObama! http://t.co/lQVn7DKf
His move could be seen as an early step toward a run for governor. Gov. Rick Scott is currently in his first term and is up for re-election in 2014.
Crist won his 2006 bid for governor as a Republican and previously served as the state's attorney general.
In 2010 he made an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat, facing former state House Speaker Marco Rubio. With tea party support, Rubio took a lead on Crist, who then left the GOP ahead of an anticipated primary loss and continued his run as an independent.
His endorsement of Obama's re-election effort referenced health care reform and the president’s handling of the economy, as well as his own differences with the Republican Party. It drew criticism from Republicans who branded him "the silly putty of Florida politics."
Crist also backed Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's re-election bid this year.
Sounds like the Tea Party was right on.
I actually like Crist pretty well, even though I disagree with him a good amount (I'm very liberal). Too bad this will be ignored as a purely political move, and probably negatively affect the public's opinion of him. It is a political move, but that doesn't change the fact that he's a pretty good centrist.
Good for him! The GOP is dying out anyway.
Came to his senses finally. Welcome to the party of progress!
Yeah! Another smart man coming forward just like our wonderful President!
It's beginning to look like rats leaving a sinking ship. In fact, I really like that analogy, because a lot of banana Republicans do exhibit the behavior traits of rodents and the Republican Party does appear to be foundering these days..
Glad that he has seen the GOP for what it really is.
Not surprised. Charlie, what too you so long? Next is Christie.
The Republicans have gone so far to the right, you can look at some of the things that Regan said and make him out to be an independent.
Just goes to show, when the chips are down, political parties mean nothing. It's all about keeping their butts in the chair.
Not a surprise. Christ was always liberal.
The Republicans are going to lose even more of the party members because of the GOP! Good for Christie. A man who knows what is right for our country!
Congratulations former governor Crist.
You did the right thing and I bet you most of the nation is proud of you.
I think he did the right thing. I wouldn't want to be affiliated with the GOP either. I know lots of democrats who switched to the GOP, as they thought it would hook them up with all the big shots in politics. Ronald Reagan was a democratic governor of CA. Wife, Nancy's GOP friends conned him into changing parties to further his career. Sometime it works. His acting ability helped him to con the world – he really wasn't a great president, but he acted the part. His acting career in the movies was over, so he used his acting ability for politics. Crist could make a good democrat – there are still lots of good democrats in the south – all the ones that weren't worth a damn switched to the GOP after the Civil Rights were passed in 1965 as they didn't want to be considered equal to our black americans.
Welcome, Charlie! And thank you.
I don't think the man knows what he wants. This is the guy who's supposed to be a contender for President????
Good for Charlie Crist an honest man, this will probably the first of many.
Democrats to Gov. Charlie Crist: Welcome!
How cool to see a man who has opened his mind and saw the light. You can't fault a man who has come to his senses.
Charlie Crist has always been an opportunist, but if you couldn't trust him as a Republican or an Independent then how can you possibly trust him as a Democrat?
Now, here is a man who stands for nothing, but himself.
Good riddance. Hope he enjoys his 15 minutes.
Great. Another 'Arlen Specter' turncoat. Fool me once – fool us twice? Just how desperate can these politicians get?
Good example of a moderate Republican being pushed left by the fringe right taking over the GOP.
Wolves in sheep's clothing, huh?