Washington (CNN) - Rep. Parker Griffith of Alabama, delivering the weekly Republican address Saturday, said Democrats "must be stopped" before they "try and jam through a massive government takeover of health care."
Griffith, who spent many years practicing medicine before being elected to Congress, started the 111th Congress as a Democrat but announced in December that he was switching parties and would run for re-election as a Republican.
Griffith addressed the switch in the address. "You see, two Januarys ago, I was sworn into office as an independent, conservative Democrat. But like so many Americans, I became increasingly concerned that the policies being pushed by Democrats in Washington were dangerous for our country and out of step with our values."
The address also includes a warning about the route that Republicans anticipate Democrats will take to ensure passage of health care reform.
"To get a final bill through without public or bipartisan support, Democrats would have to use a toxic, controversial legislative scheme known as 'reconciliation.' Reconciliation would allow Democrats to make a few last-minute backroom deals and rely on only Democratic votes."
Washington (CNN) – When Rep. Parker Griffith was campaigning as a Democrat in Alabama's 5th district, Republicans released a political ad attacking his record as a physician.
"What kind of man is Parker Griffith?" the advertisement's narrator asked. "An independent medical review tells you all you need to know. Numerous internal complaints were lodged about the care Griffith was providing. Griffith was warehousing cancer patients, under dosing them so he could make more profits through protracted treatments. His approach caused unwarranted pain and suffering. But it meant more money for him."
But that was 2008 – more than a year before Griffith switched parties to become a Republican. This week, the Alabama congressman was chosen to issue the Republican response to the weekly White House address, where he criticized Preident Obama's approach to health care reform.
Democratic strategists have been eager to point to the ad, which is still accessible online.
According to the Huntsville Times, when the ad was initially released, then candidate Griffth's lawyers issued a statement saying the ad was, "false and misleading, and knowingly misstates the source of quotations." Local media reports said the allegations may have stemmed from a business dispute with a local hospital.
Washington (CNN) – An Alabama congressman has managed to inspire a certain level of political bipartisanship, but not in a way that will make his colleagues jealous.
Former Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith rocked the political world in December when he switched parties and announced he would seek re-election as a Republican.
And now, only a few months later, his decision has prompted an unlikely coalition to form that is opposed to his re-election.
Democrats, Republicans and politically likeminded groups aligned with both political parties announced they will protest a fundraiser scheduled for March 8, in Huntsville. The headliner: House Minority Leader John Boehner.
Huntsville Tea Party, Left In Alabama, Athens-Limestone Tea Party Patriots, AAMU Democrats Student Club, The Dale Jackson Show, North Alabama Healthcare for All, Madison County Republican Executive Committee, and the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee issued a joint statement Friday announcing their intent to protest.
The involved parties share a goal, but have vastly different motivations. The Huntsville Tea Party said they will use the event to send GOP leaders the message that Griffith isn't their first choice.
Washington (CNN) – Most of Rep. Parker Griffith's staff resigned Monday morning, nearly two weeks after the former Blue Dog Democrat announced his intention to join the Republican Party.
Eleven staff members tendered their resignation, including Griffith's chief of staff, legislative director and press secretary. Griffith's campaign consulting team announced in December that they were ending their relationship with the first-term congressman.
"Parker Griffith has abandoned the legacy of conservative leadership," Sharon Wheeler, Griffith's chief of staff said in a statement released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"We believe he made a mistake – a well-intentioned but misguided mistake that is not in the interest of the great people of North Alabama who elected him a year ago as a Democrat," Wheeler said in a statement, adding that staffers "cannot, in good conscience, continue working for him."
Griffith was first elected in 2008 with 52 percent of the vote in the conservative 5th district of Alabama. John McCain beat Barack Obama by 23 points in the district that cycle.
Full statement after the jump:
"I believe our nation is at a crossroads," Griffiths said during a press conference in Alabama Tuesday. "I can no longer align myself with a party that continues to pursue legislation that is bad for our country, hurts our economy, and drives us further and further into debt."
"For me to be true to my core beliefs and values, I must align myself with the Republican Party and speak out clearly on these issues," he added.
Washington (CNN) - Sources confirm to CNN that Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith will announce Tuesday that he's switching parties and will run for re-election next year as a Republican.
The freshman lawmaker represents Alabama's 5th Congressional District. Griffith won his seat last year by 3 points over Republican Wayne Parker. But the district went for Republican John McCain over Barack Obama by 23 points in the presidential election.
The Republican source was familiar with the decision but didn't want to preempt the announcement later Tuesday. The story was first reported by Politico. A Democratic aide also tells CNN Griffith is holding a staff meeting Tuesday morning to inform his staff of his decision, and will make a formal announcement at 2 p.m. ET.
Griffith was one of 39 Democrats who voted against the party's health care reform bill last month. His is only one of three Democrats to have voted against the health care bill, the stimulus measure, and the cap-and-trade bill.
Griffith pledged in August he would vote against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Speaker next session.
With Griffith's switch of parties, the Democrats will hold a 257-178 advantage in the House of Representatives.
– CNN's Evan Glass and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story