Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist: I'm for Obama Ron Paul, however, won't support Mitt Romney By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff Posted Aug 26, 2012 1:33 PM CDT 82 comments Comments In this Nov. 29, 2010 file photo, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is seen during an interview with the Associated Press at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File) (Newser) – Charlie Crist continued his political shift away from the GOP today by committing the ultimate betrayal: endorsing President Obama. "I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation," he writes in the Tampa Bay Times. The former GOP governor of Florida—who turned independent in his failed 2010 Senate race—applauds Obama's focus on job-saving and infrastructure, his support for K-12 teachers, and a biggy for Florida: investing in retirement security. "The $716 billion in savings his opponents decry today extended the life of [Medicare] by nearly a decade," writes Crist. "His opponents would end the Medicare guarantee by creating a voucher that would raise seniors' costs by thousands of dollars and bankrupt the program." By contrast, Ron Paul, facing his last presidential campaign rally, refused to speak at the RNC because Team Romney demanded a full endorsement and a vetted speech, the New York Times reports. "It wouldn’t be my speech," Paul said. "I don’t fully endorse him for president."