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Florida GOP: Charlie Crist is a "crass political opportunist."

Now that former Republican and former Gov. Charlie Crist has officially cast his lot with President Obama, the Republican Party of Florida hits back in a memo from RPOF Chairman Lenny Curry, who displays amnesia and remarkable memory at the same time.

On one hand, the memo outlines many of the rightward statements and maneuvers by Crist, who campaigned for years as a "Jeb Bush Republican." On the other hand, Curry accuses Crist of having "killed Florida's economy" while governor.

Guess who cheered Crist on at the time? The Republican Party of Florida, which claimed the tax cuts he pushed for helped the economy. Instead, Florida sank further into recession. As the Florida press corps wrote stories and blogs in 2009 and 2010 about the bad shape of the economy, Republicans actually pushed back by saying the economic data wasn't so bad and that we were being unfair to Crist.

Once Crist ceased to be a Republican, the party happily encouraged the media to write the very stories it once decried. And the party statement also bashes Crist for penning an op-ed when a storm is approaching Florida. Well, Mitt Romney did as well. Is that opportunism?

Is Crist an opportunist? There's a good case made below. But he probably has some company.

Here's the memo:

Friends and colleagues, we have just learned that Charlie Crist - who served in Florida politics for decades as a Republican - has endorsed Barack Obama. Make no mistake about it: This is Charlie Crist 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.

As the mainstream media rush to portray this as a victory for Democrats, please join me in reminding reporters and the people of Florida exactly what you and I already know; this is political opportunism, plain and simple.

Consider Crist's own words:

Crist: I Don't Agree with President Obama. "He also wanted to make it clear that backing Obama on one issue doesn't mean he supports him on everything. "I don't agree with the guy on hardly anything he does," Crist said. "I mean, what they're doing with health care right now is unbelievable."" (Farrington, Brendan, "Fla. Gov. Crist is not sorry he backed stimulus," Associated Press, 1/9/10)

Charlie Crist Called Himself a Reagan Republican. "'I think Charlie Crist is a conservative and always has been,' Crist said last week in Panama City. 'I believe in less taxes, less spending, less government, more freedom. I'm a Reagan Republican.'" (Hollis, Mark, "RIGHT IS MIGHT IN GOP RACE FOR GOVERNOR," Sun-Sentinel, 7/17/06)

Crist Said He's 'Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Family and Pro-Business. "'I think it's pretty obvious what he's doing,' Crist said. "Polling is not good. We're coming into the end of the election. This is the fourth time he's run for governor. And so, here we are." Crist concluded, "I'm pro-life, I'm pro-gun, I'm pro-family, and I'm pro-business.'" (Kennedy, John, "Crist, Gallagher square off in free-swinging TV debate," Orlando Sentinel, 8/23/06)

On some key issues for Democrats...

Crist Sent a Letter to a Democrat Congressman Urging Him to Vote Against ObamaCare. "Dear Representative Meek: Media reports yesterday stated that President Obama has threatened not to campaign and raise money for Democrats who vote "no" on the health care legislation that is currently before Congress. The President's threat to snub Democrats who vote against this bill clearly demonstrates his priority of scoring political points rather than working to pass meaningful legislation. Instead of succumbing to the bullying and strong-arm tactics of your Party's leader, I urge you to ignore these threats and do what is in the best interest of the people of Florida by voting "no" on this bill. Floridians deserve quality health care with increased access and lower costs. What Floridians don't need is the current legislation that increases taxes, raises premiums and cuts Medicare that President Obama, Majority Leader Reid, and Speaker Pelosi are jamming through Congress. Again, put the people of Florida first - I urge you to vote "no" on the Democrat health care bill. Sincerely, Charlie Crist." (http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/content/crist-jumps-health-care-crunch-letter-rival-meek )

and...

Crist "Cheerfully Signed" the Christian Coalition Petition Calling for a State Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage and Civil Unions. "A gushing crowd gathered to see Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist at Miami's Versailles restaurant on Thursday. Members of the local Christian Coalition chapter presented him with a petition calling for a state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages and civil unions. Crist cheerfully signed. His office released petitions for the ballot initiative to the state Supreme Court for review on the same day." ("Crist popular on foe's turf," St. Petersburg Times, 9/4/05)

IMPORTANT - When speaking to the media about Charlie Crist's Obama endorsement, please remember that he wants us to accuse him of being a liberal. Calling him a liberal will only play into his hand. He hopes it will divert attention away from his record and his years of calling himself a Conservative. You should take every opportunity with the media to remind Floridians that Crist has made a career out of bashing the Democrat Party and everything President Obama stands for.

SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS

     *Crist is a crass, political opportunist

      *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.

      *From his A+ rating from the NRA to abortion to same-sex marriage to civil unions to ObamaCare, Charlie Crist opposes President Obama on every one of the president's core issues.

      *Crist said he doesn't agree with President Obama on hardly anything he does and Crist has spent his entire political career bashing the agenda Barack Obama advances.

      *The only thing they have in common is that President Obama killed our national economy and Crist killed Florida's economy.

      *In his time as Governor, Charlie Crist had unemployment increases in Florida greater than any other state except ONE - Florida's unemployment skyrocketed from 3.5% to 11.1%

      *On abortion, Crist's position only makes an exception for the life of the mother, going further than Mitt Romney, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

      *Crist didn't leave the Republican Party in 2010 because he disagreed with the party's beliefs and positions or suddenly became an Obama suppoter; he left because polls showed he had a better chance to win the Senate seat as an Independent.

Comments

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PEter Schorsch

The courage - and danger - of Charlie Crist's endorsement of Barack Obama

bit.ly/OfhTEA

Jefflz

Crist demonstrates that there are Floridians that can see through the smoke and mirrors of the RomneyRyan double-talk..."we have to destroy Medicare in order to save it"

nhirsch

I respect Charlie Crist and agree wholeheartedly with his endorsement of President Obama.

Morton

I applaud Crist. He has used common sense something that the Republicans threw out the window a long time ago

D

Political opportunist, you say? This from a party whose nominee for President changes his mind with the weather. Charlie Crist is just one of the early rats getting off the ship.

Jamieg98459

I am proud of Mr. Crist and his endorsement of our president. I think he displays a tremendous amount of courage to re-track what he believed was true. My hat goes off to Mr. Charlie Crist; For the People!! Obama/Biden 2012!!

Julio

There is a terrible Tropical Storm looming over the Republican National Convention. This is a sign from God that Romney/Paul should not be elected as they pretend to be religious but in fact bow down to the all mighty dollar. I will pray for their salvation.

WinterIsis

Wow! Are you kidding me? Has the I.Q. of this state dropped so low that there are actually people here who support either of these clowns? B. O. Bama? Joe (they're gonna put ya'll back in chains!) Biden, or Charlie--I will do anything to stay in power--Crist? What is happening to our state? Our country? As Wil Adams points out in his book 'How to Reform the Political System...' (amazon) it is uninformed, knee-jerk reactionary people like this who should never be allowed anywhere near a voting booth. OMG! Just the thought of how far our Country has fallen from Greatness in the less that ONE hundred years that WOMEN have had the Right to Vote is STAGGERING!

Robert

Crist may have devastated the economy of Florida....which never had a great economy to begin with...but the Republican party DEVASTATED THE ECONOMY OF THE USA in its entirety. The budget surplus left by Clinton was squandered and Bush and the Republicans left Obama with a $7 trillion deficit! The Republicans created the Great Recession which began in 2006 while Republicans were in control of both houses of Congress and the US Presidency of Bush. The economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month prior to Obama even being elected. Republicans have mass amnesia and are engaged in a massive collective delusion. The pain and shame of admitting what the did to this country causes them to live in a delusional denial. Good luck with that goof balls.

Dave

Since when did being a moderate become a sin. Compromise means finding real solutions. Tea Party will destroy this country and the billionaires supporting them should be in jail because they are serving their own selfish greedy interests.

Linda

Julio..you are an idiot!

Chris

WinterIsis, I am fascinated by this new move by Republicans to not only wage a war on women (which is going hard and strong as we speak), but to now start blaming their perceived problems with America on the fact that women can vote. Since you also hold this belief, you should speak out about it more, really really publicly. It can't go wrong.

Ahria

With more and more comparing the Republican Party to the Taliban, one would think that more would run from the party and look with shock and awe as fundamentalism takes root in America to the detriment and freedom of women, particularly. It is frightening to think that so many believe they are chosen by God to tell others what to do. Truly, truly scary. All those who run from the party should be commended.

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