Politics

Long Expected, Charlie Crist Is a Democrat

By: Jim Turner | Posted: December 8, 2012 7:30 AM

Charlie Crist

Charlie Crist | Credit: TPM

Former Republican-turned-independent governor Charlie Crist is now 'turned-Democrat.'

Now that he has filled out voter registration paperwork a-fixed in the large "D" column, next on the list of things Crist is expected by most political insiders -- and even outsiders -- to do is file paperwork for the 2014 gubernatorial contest.

'Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President (at)Barack Obama!," Crist tweeted on Friday.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that Crist announced the change in voter registration papers while at the White House.

“He did so during a Christmas reception at the White House, where President Obama greeted the news with a fist bump for the man who had a higher profile campaigning for Obama's re-election this year than any Florida Democrat,” the Times wrote.

Crist, who abandoned the GOP after he was overtaken in the polls by U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, in the 2010 Senate contest, follows his wife Carol into the Democratic Party.

The formerly staunch Reagan Republican who grabbed the moniker “Chain Gang Charlie” in the 1990s -- as he became the face of criminal justice legislation that was actually proposed by former Senate President Ken Pruitt, R-Port St. Lucie -- this past summer endorsed President Obama and spoke, with a lukewarm reception, at the Democratic National Convention.

Last month Crist, while appearing on MSNBC, shifted from denial and noncommittal responses on challenging Gov. Rick Scott to “Anything’s possible.”

Twitter pic from Crist

A photo included with Crist's Twitter statement that he's now a proud Democrat

The Republican Party of Florida has already envisioned Crist making the registration move, releasing a series of hits titled “two faces" since the summer and last week crafting a disaster movie-style poster focused on Crist and the legally challenged former RPOF Chairman Jim Greer.

In response to Crist's latest actions, the RPOF chimed that "Charlie Crist's first official act as a Democrat was to tell a lie about why he is now pretending to be one."

“The truth is that this self-professed Ronald-Reagan Republican only abandoned his pro-life, pro-gun, conservative principles in 2010 after he realized that Republicans didn't want to send him to Washington, D.C., as a senator, especially after he proved he couldn't do the job as governor," the RPOF stated.

“It's obvious that Florida Democrats are desperate when Charlie Crist is the one who gets invited to the White House just two years after he disowned Barack Obama in 2010, publicly ripped him at every turn, accusing President Obama of having 'the same tired answer for every problem, trashing Obamacare and promising to repeal it, endorsing John McCain, and blasted President Obama for wasting money on the stimulus."

While Crist would immediately be the biggest name in the Democratic field if he jumps into the race, his path back to Tallahassee or even to the Democratic nomination -- where, since last summer, his face has adorned a Morgan & Morgan law firm billboard blocks from the governor's mansion -- isn't a slam dunk.

Former state Sen. Nan Rich from Weston has already opened a campaign account, while anticipation remains high that Alex Sink, who was the Democrats' 2010 candidate, would like another run and the mayors of Tampa and Orlando are looking at the governor’s mansion.


Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.


Comments (6)

Bill
11:15AM DEC 10TH 2012
No surprise here. Way to go Christ. Failed as a FL governor. Failed to be elected as a Republican Senator to Rubio. Failed as attorney at maybe the most successful law firm in FL. Now you have flipped sides and the Dems are proud to have you? Good luck with this one Dems! True politician. He will pretend to be whatever he thinks the voting majority wants. Stand for something or fall for anything.
Frank
6:54PM DEC 10TH 2012
And continued good luck with the Allen West, Christine O'Donnell, Todd Akin, Rick Sanctorum, Mitt Romney, Hermain Cain, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and Richard Mourdocks of your ever shrinking party.

You're losing women, asians, hispanics, teachers, the young, even young Cubans, much less the educated, the unions, teachers, scientists, gays, blacks and other minorities.

Where you going to go? . . . . . . . we'll take all your RINOs aka "moderates" . . . . anyone else you'd like to demonize in your party? . . . we're the party of inclusion, not exclusion . . . . but you don't seem capable of understanding of what shooting yourself in the foot means . . . .

Pathetic . . . and oh, by the way, we'll take "Christ" any day of the week.
Frank
10:51AM DEC 8TH 2012
Keep it up, Tea Partiers . . . . keep RINO pushing your moderates into Independents and Democrats . . . . . pretty soon, you won't have to worry about Jeb Bush running in 2016 . . . . he won't have a place in the new Republican Party of climate change deniers, creationists, Hispanic haters, rape is an act of god espousers, gay haters, Agenda 21 conspiracy theorists, and the earth is only 10,000 years old because we say so pseudo-scientists . . . .

I'm just glad Charlie came to join me in making the switch from old Abe's Party that's now left behind all of old Abe's ethic and integrity to become a Party that believes in exclusion . . .of blacks, women, minorities, gays, teachers, scientists and its moderates . . Jeb was correct . . .today's current Republican Party has no place for Reagan, his father, and if it continues down this course, maybe not even for Jeb Bush himself . . . . .

So, welcome, Charlie Crist . . . . to a Party that cares about what's happens to Florida, the nation and in the world . . . rather than a focus only on private profitting from power, enriching the rich and the devil with the rest of us, conspiracy theories, and obstructing all that they disagree with, rather than the job of governing and compromising to find solutions for the country's important problems . . . . .

So, welcome aboard, Charlie Crist . . . many have preceded you . . . and you won't be the last of those abandoning an increasingly marginalized party . . . .
Mike Ross
10:49AM DEC 8TH 2012
Wow, what a century it's been so far! Not only have we elected the 1st African-American President (preceeded of course by the 1st mentally-challenged President!), but now... a prominent Floridian has actually awoken from his Faux News induced slumber & decided to join the more highly evolved MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY! The Florida branch of the RepubliKlan shouldn't worry too much though, this revelation will surely be overshadowed in '16 when Florida actually submits the mentally-challenged Presidents' little brother as a viable candidate for "ruler of the free world"... scary, isn't it! Unfortunately, this will do little to quell the shame of my state(Texas)... we not only afflicted the world with "Yoonior", we followed-up with Rick FREAKIN' Perry! D'OHHH!!! Anyway, back to Jeb... is it just me, or does anyone else sense that Gee Sr. & "Babs" settled on naming their son Jeb when, after considering his elder siblings mentallity, they feared it highly likely he'd never be able to spell/pronounce Jethro?
Mike Ross
10:32AM DEC 8TH 2012
Wow, what a century it's been so far! Not only have we elected the 1st African-American President (preceeded of course by the 1st mentally-challenged President!), but now... a prominent Floridian has actually awoken from his Faux News induced slumber & decided to join the more highly evolved MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY! The Florida branch of the RepubliKlan shouldn't worry too much though, this revelation will surely be overshadowed in '16 when Florida actually submits the mentally-challenged Presidents' little brother as a viable candidate for "ruler of the free world"... scary, isn't it! Unfortunately, this will do little to quell the
cris
9:03AM DEC 8TH 2012
WTG Charlie! I knew I liked you for a good reason. The tea party and nasty conservatives just were not your style. As for Charlie changing sides, Reagan WAS a democrat until he got rich, Boehner WAS a democrat until he got rich and admits he changed sides because he got money and didn't want to pay taxes on it. At least Charlie is about values and the republicans have none other then grabbing as much money as they can. I'll vote for Charlie.

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