Former Gov. Charlie Crist once faced withering criticism for hugging President Barack Obama, but now Obama is returning the favor by embracing Crist’s congressional campaign.
Obama endorsed Crist, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat, for a U.S. House seat in a June 20, 2016, statement. He said Crist "has always put people above politics," and proved it during his single gubernatorial term between January 2007 and January 2011 — right as the Great Recession gripped the state following the housing market’s crash.
"As governor, in the face of partisan attacks, he (Charlie Crist) had the courage to save jobs and lead his state into economic recovery," Obama said.
By "courage," Obama means Crist, as a GOP governor, had the chutzpah to accept federal stimulus money from a Democratic president against the wishes of many Florida Republicans.
Is it fair to credit Crist with saving jobs and helping Florida recover? The data during Crist’s term is mixed, experts say, but the state did recover and accepting the stimulus certainly helped.
More here from Joshua Gillin of PolitiFact Florida.