TAMPA — Former Florida Republican Governor Charlie Crist threw his support behind President Obama on Sunday, just two days before the start of the Republican Party’s Convention in Tampa, Fla.
The convention was initially scheduled to begin on Monday, but the threat posed by Tropical Storm Isaac caused officials to delay the start until Tuesday.
In an op-ed published by the Tampa Bay Times, Crist called Obama “the right leader for our state and the nation.”
“I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility,” he said. “It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.”
As Governor, Crist served as a Republican. However, after losing his U.S. Senate primary race in 2010 to newcomer Marco Rubio, Crist dropped the ‘R’ after his name, and became an Independent. He would go on to lose to Rubio again later that year in the general election.
Nonetheless, his endorsement of Obama noticeably ticked off some GOP officials in the Sunshine State.
“Today we have seen a repugnant display from a self-centered, career politician,” said Florida GOP Chairman Lenny Curry. “For Crist to pull this Obama stunt while Florida faces a hurricane only proves Charlie Crist cares about just one thing: Charlie Crist.”