Charlie Crist, the former Florida Republican governor, announced his support for President Barack Obama in an editorial in the Tampa Bay Times Sunday on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Crist, who is now registered independent, applauded President Obama's actions as president, citing his efforts to improve the economy, infrastructure, education, and healthcare. He remarked "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."
Crist also addressed his former party, stating that some Republicans "[have] 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." Congressman Todd Akin (R-MO) stirred up controversy by claiming that victims of "legitimate rape" do not get pregnant when discussing abortion exceptions for rape. The draft Republican platform expected to be adopted at this week's convention once again includes a "human life amendment" to the Constitution. The proposed amendment would ban all abortion with no exceptions as well as some forms of contraception.
Crist will speak at the Democratic National Convention, according to ABC news.
As governor of Florida, Crist vetoed a house bill that would have required women to view an ultrasound and listen to a description of the fetus before having an abortion. The bill also stripped funding for elective abortions. The bill was later signed into law by Crist's successor, current Florida Governor Rick Scott.
Media Resources: Huffington Post 8/27/12; ABC News 8/27/12; Tampa Bay Times 8/26/12; Feminist Newswire 8/24/12; Feminist Newswire 8/21/12; Tampa Bay Times 6/12/10