September 07, 2012 at 9:33 am
During his speech at the Democratic National Convention Thursday, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist made the case that the GOP is too extreme, saying today’s Republicans are “allergic to the very idea of compromise.”
Many speculate that Crist–who changed his voter registration to “no party affiliation” after he lost the 2010 GOP Senate Primary –will run for governor again in 2014 as a Democrat.
Crist said he was addressing the convention “not as a Republican, not as a Democrat, but as an optimist.”
The former governor praised President Obama for having a “cool head” and “caring heart,” and said he was proud of his famous man-hug with the president.
“One of his first trips in office brought him to Fort Myers, where I was proud to embrace him and his plan to keep our teachers, police and firefighters on the job,” Crist said. “Well, that hug caused me more grief from my party than you can imagine.”
Crist credited Obama’s handling of the 2008 economic crisis with helping Florida cope.
“Even as the Republicans fought tooth and nail to stop him, this president showed his courage, invested in America and saved our Florida,” he said.
Democrats invited Crist to speak at their convention after he endorsed Obama in a Tampa Bay Times editorial on the eve of the RNC last weekend.
Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry took issue with Crist’s assertion that he “didn’t leave the Republican Party; it left me.”
“That is a ridiculous claim,” Curry told CNN. “It’s a lie. Everyone knows Charlie Crist left the Republican Party because he was trying to win an election.”
Incidentally, Crist – as he has done in the past– had aides place a small fan at his feet during his speech. A convention staffer on Thursday night put a fan on the stage at the foot of the rostrum before Crist came out, and removed it after he was finished.