Charlie Crist Becomes a Democrat
Former Republican governor backed Obama
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Dec 8, 2012 5:06 AM CST
President Obama, accompanied by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, second from right, waves to supporters as he arrives at a campaign stop in Delray Beach, Fla., Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(Newser) – From Republican to independent to Democrat: Florida's former GOP governor Charlie Crist has completed the paperwork to join the Democratic Party. "I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know, Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it,'" he said in Washington, where he was attending a White House Christmas reception. The move is no surprise, the Tampa Bay Times notes. Crist battled hard for President Obama in this year's election, including speaking at the Democratic convention. Upon changing affiliation, he got a fist-bump from the president.

"What changed is the leadership of the Republican Party," Crist says. "As I said at the convention, I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me." He turned independent in the spring of 2010, when he was battling for a Senate seat which he ultimately lost to Republican Marco Rubio. While he has long fought gun control laws and tax hikes, Crist has taken an array of Dem-friendly positions, including pushing for civil rights and calling for higher teacher pay, the Times notes. But some members of both parties see the shift simply as preparation to run for governor against the GOP's Rick Scott.

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Dec 10, 2012 7:00 AM CST
And so it begins. Republican politicians are choosing competence & sanity over Party loyalty. Ask not for who the bell tolls, Rove, it tolls for thine fanny, & the Republican Party's collective wazoo, as well. And your sack of dirty tricks can't save you--you could pull Flying Monkeys out of your ass--it would make no difference. You are doomed.
Dec 9, 2012 2:49 PM CST
Glad the Demos are just a bunch of old white men.
Dec 8, 2012 5:37 PM CST
President Abraham Lincoln bolted, from the Republican party, to form the Union party. President Teddy Roosevelt bolted to form the Bull Moose party. President Reagan campaigned for FDR, not Hoover! Thanks for bolting the party of Nixon!