Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Charlie Crist to endorse another Democrat, Republican Party of Florida chairman seethes

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 2:37 PM

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The news that Charlie Crist will endorse another Democrat later this week — this time Sarasota Democratic congressional candidate Keith Fitzgerald — caused Republican Party Chair Lenny Curry to have another spasm of anger.

The Republican Party of Florida head issued a flurry of negative press releases in recent months as the former GOP governor slowly but inexorably makes his metamorphosis complete, formally joining the Democrats, presumably to run for the party's nomination for governor in 2014.

No doubt that it's hard for Florida Republicans to accept Crist's conversion.

But as the consummate politician, it's not surprising that Crist, a moderate who has said the party left him after he lost the Republican nomination for Senate in 2010, continues to court the Democrats.

In Crist's ideal world, he'd probably prefer to remain a political independent, since his moderate views make him unelectable by the 2012 Florida Republican Party. And many Democrats are still resistant to his charms. If he does want to run against Rick Scott, the odds are way too formidable to do so as an independent, or so it would seem.

Curry released a statement today:

"Another day, another friend betrayed by Charlie Crist and his blind ambition. It would be funny if it weren't so sad to watch Crist, a self described pro-life, pro-gun, pro-family, anti-ObamaCare conservative, abandoning his friends who he endorsed and raised money for to embrace people and values he has opposed his entire political career. This is just another sad but clear example of the two faces of Charlie Crist."

The press release also included clips of news stories from when Crist campaigned for Fitzgerald's Republican opponent, Congressman Vern Buchanan:

Crist Endorsed Buchanan for Congress in 2005

"Buchanan spoke about the importance of tort reform and trumpeted his support from Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells; state Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton; Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist; U.S. Rep. Mark Foley; and U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez. He also said his campaign had raised almost $600,000 in its first quarter." (Majors, Stephen, "Bennett laments Harris attacks," Bradenton Herald, 10/8/05)

Crist Donated $1,000 to Buchanan's 2006 Congressional Campaign.

"But Crist has waded into heated primary battles in Sarasota before, even before he was elected governor. In 2005, while he was the state attorney general, Crist donated $1,000 to Vern Buchanan's campaign for congress though Buchanan was facing a stiff challenge from Detert and former Sarasota County GOP chairman Tramm Hudson." (Wallace, Jeremy, "In unusual move, Crist goes to bat in a state contest," Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 7/31/08)

This year, Crist already endorsed President Obama and Sen. Bill Nelson. When asked, he said he has no interest in running for governor as a Democrat in 2014.

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