Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist will seek that office again, the Tampa Bay Timesreports:
"Charlie Crist begins his comeback bid at 10 a.m. Monday, when he's set to announce he'll challenge Gov. Rick Scott. The event will be held at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg. Public arrival is 9:30 a.m., according to an announcement."
Some great news: On Tuesday, Delaware became the 11th state to allow marriage equality. And just a few days ago, Rhode Island adopted a similar measure, which followed victories last fall in Maine, Maryland and Washington. I most certainly support marriage equality in Florida and look forward to the day it happens here.
Crist is potentially planning a run for governor of Florida as a Democrat.
Seems to us he still has some explaining to do about his position. Was it an evolution or an acknowledgement that he felt the need to discard his true feelings in '06 to avoid antagonizing social conservatives? Crist back then called himself a "live and let live" Republican and at one point suggested he backed civil unions (back then that position still carried some political risk) in an interview with Jim Defede.
And yet he signed the petition for the gay marriage ban initiative, and sent campaiign mailers touting his support for "traditional marriage." He will address Democrats in Hillsborough County Saturday night. Can he avoid talking about this?
Speaking with the reporters who turned out for the event, Crist was asked about his decision in 2006 to sign a petition pushing for a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage in The Sunshine State.
"Would I do it today? No," Crist said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "I think the best way to judge where my heart is is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor - restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is - and the boss is the people of Florida."
Crist also said he signed up with the Democrats because "they care"; "they're compassionate," he said, contrasting them with Florida's current governor, Rick Scott.
Watch video of Crist discussing his marriage equality position, whether anyone in the Obama administration has encouraged him to run for governor again (yes) and his place in the political world today AFTER THE JUMP.
"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it," so said former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist last night after leaving a holiday party at the White House, where he finally, after dipping his toes into the water as an Obama-supporting "independent" for a few years, registered as a Democrat. And according to Crist, it's the party's fault he left in the first place.
"What changed is the leadership of the Republican Party," Crist said. "As I said at the convention, I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me. Whether the issue was immigration, or education, or you name it — the environment. I feel at home now."
President Obama clearly approves: he reportedly congratulated Crist with a fist bump, which in Democratic circles is as good as being knighted, but doesn't necessarily guarantee Crist a spot at the head of the line for another gubernatorial run.
Other prospective candidates include former chief financial officer and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston and former Miami-Dade Commissioner Jimmy Morales.
"Crist was an absolute warrior for President Obama and as a result, many of the party activists I talk to are willing to welcome him with open arms, and there is no question he is an extremely viable candidate for governor, though I don't think that beating Alex Sink in a primary is any kind of sure thing," said Democratic strategist Steve Schale, who worked on Sink's campaign as well as both of Obama's Florida campaigns.
Sink says Crist's move has not influenced her decision whether or not to run.
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) may become the first out gay senator if she wins in November.
"Our president has made historic progress toward equality. He repealed "don't ask, don't tell" so that no American ever again has to lie about who they are in order to serve the country we love. Republicans want to write discrimination into our Constitution. But the Wisconsin I know believes that with each passing year and each generation, our country must become more equal, not less."
"Mitt Romney would raise taxes on middle-class families to cut his own — and mine. And that’s not who we are as a nation, and let me tell you why: because the Eva Longoria who worked at Wendy’s flipping burgers — she needed a tax break. But the Eva Longoria who works on movie sets does not....And just like our president and first lady, I took out loans to pay for school. I changed oil in a mechanic shop, I flipped burgers at Wendy’s, I taught aerobics and I worked on campus to pay them back."
Senator John Kerry:
"...after more than 10 years without justice for thousands of Americans murdered on 9/11, after Mitt Romney said it would be naive to go into Pakistan to pursue the terrorists, it took President Obama, against the advice of many, to give that order and finally rid this earth of Osama bin Laden....Ask Osama bin Laden is he is better off now than he was four years ago."
And former Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist, now an independent, who looks ready to make the switch to Democrat:
"That's the leader Florida needs. That's the leader America needs. And that's the reason I'm here tonight, not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, but as an optimistic American who understands that we must come together behind the one man who can lead the way forward in these challenging times: my president, our president, Barack Obama! And if you see the president before I do, give him a hug for Charlie!"
Now that former Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has endorsed President Obama's reelection campaign and announced he will speak at the Democratic National Convention, the politico's former GOP allies are targeting him in a new ad.
The commercial, called "How Conservative Are You, Charlie?" and running in Florida, features Crist lauding his own conservative credentials and palling around with the likes of Dubya and Sarah Palin.
"If many Democrats thought Clint Eastwood's speech was a bit odd, wait till they see Charlie Crist – a man who has built his career bashing virtually everything President Obama and the Democrats stand for, including the President's spending programs and ObamaCare – debate himself," Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry wrote in a statement.
"Charlie Crist may try to use the Democrats' national convention as his latest attempt to shed his political skin, but the RPOF intends to make sure the people of Florida and the nation remember his words and record," he added.