Florida's former Republican Governor Charlie Crist will address next week's Democratic National Convention, several news organizations confirmed Monday, a day after Crist endorsed President Barack Obama in a Tampa Bay Times editorial.
In the editorial, Crist accused elements of the Republican party of shifting to the extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and students.
"Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims," he wrote. "The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve."
On the other hand, Crist claimed Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America and Florida and praised the president's "swift, smart and farsighted" response to the economic crisis.
Crist was elected governor of Florida as a Republican but dropped out of the 2010 Republican Senate primary and ran as an independent.
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., won the Florida Senate race, defeating Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.
Lenny Curry, chairman of the Florida Republican Party, was highly critical of Crist's endorsement of Obama, claiming that the former Florida Governor was trying to "shed his skin for a political comeback."
"Despite the threat Florida is facing from a severe storm, Charlie Crist has demonstrated, yet again, that his political ambition will always come before the needs of Floridians," Curry said.
The news of Crist speaking at the Democratic convention comes as the Republican National Convention gets underway in Tampa, although official events have been delayed due to Tropical Storm Isaac.
Crist's addition to the list of speakers may be partly to counter former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis', D-Ala., speech at the Republican convention.
Davis was an early supporter of President Obama in 2008 and seconded the president's official nomination at the Democratic convention. However, he recently jumped to the Republican Party and endorsed Romney.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com