Former Florida GOP Governor Charlie Crist Endorses Obama, Will Speak at Democratic Convention


Former Florida GOP Governor Charlie Crist, an independent since 2010, endorsed Barack Obama in a Tampa Bay Times editorial on Sunday, writing, in part:

…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.

Now CNN has confirmed that Crist will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week.


  1. Paul R says

    I suspect that some threat or suspicion of blackmail might have been involved. But will his endorsement mean much?

    Next, Lindsay Graham will say the GOP is evil. Never underestimate what goes on behind the scenes.

  2. Mike C. says

    Solves the question, which high profile GOPer is going to speak at the DNC, which the democratic party had been touting. Although, Crist isn’t currently a republican so I’m not sure how much it counts. He does have sway in Florida though particularly among seniors who look back on him longingly in the times of Rick Scott. If he can help Obama win Florida, that’s all we need

  3. jamal49 says

    @PAUL R His endorsement may not “mean much” but it is telling. I guess you missed why Crist is endorsing Mr. Obama? You know, something about the current republicon party have been taken over by the right-wing extremists to become the party of a few instead of the many?

    I get the feeling that you haunt the 9/11 conspiracy-theorists’ websites. I mean, “blackmail might have been involved”? I don’t think so.

    Crist is doing what many moderate republicons are doing: getting the hell out of a party that is hell-bent on destruction, if not of itself then surely of the U.S. of A.

    No national (or, even, rational) political party can sustain such radicalism without eventually imploding upon itself.

    I doubt if Lindsay Graham will say the GOP is evil. I mean, I get your subtle suggestion that this all is concerned with “gay rumours” that dogged Crist when he last tried for national office (as well as those that dog Sen. Graham).

    But, why not just accept the fact that Crist is doing this because his former party has left America’s building and is flying high enough on its right-wing radical hubris to have its wings melted by the white-hot sun of realpolitiks? Be sure to step out of the way when that party crashes and burns.

  4. says

    Amen, Paul R. If Lindsey Graham knows what’s good for him he’ll do this same thing.

    Closeted-Crist has been a GOP-licking lapdog for years, voting against anti-LGBT measures. Looks like he realized the clock is ticking and he only has a little while longer to make amends.

    Here’s hoping more gay conservatives, Closeted and Out, experience a similar wakeup call.

  5. Jack M says

    Give the guy credit. Maybe he’s just growing up and realizing he has to be true to his inner convictions. At least he’s enlightened enough to turn his back on the GOP.

  6. Dback says

    Well, this is one minor bombshell detonated. Crist does indeed have pull in Florida; whomever invited him deserves a “well played, sir” commendation.

    Watch for another political bombshell in the next 8 weeks from the Dems–don’t know if it’ll involve the major outing of a prominent conservative or some sort of major military action (rescue in Syria? Another major Al-Quaeda kill?), but something. (You think Osama Bin Laden leaked that video all by himself a few days before the ’04 race? The Republicans had to have had their fingers in that.)

  7. Ken says

    I believe this is very significant. Crist can definitely help win over some independents in Florida, a state where even a few votes could make the difference. And will really highlight just how far the Republicans have moved to the right.

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