Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist
on Sunday endorsed President Barack Obama over presumed Republican
rival Mitt Romney for a second term as president.
“As America prepares to pick our
president for the next four years – and as Florida prepares once
again to play a decisive role – I'm confident that President Barack
Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation,” Crist
wrote in an editorial published by the Tampa Bay Times.
Republicans have moved “so far to the
extreme right on issues important to women, immigrants, seniors and
students that they've proven incapable of governing for the people.”
Crist governed Florida as a Republican.
He renounced his party affiliation while campaigning in 2010 for the
United States Senate. He now considers himself an independent.
While Crist did not specifically
mention gay rights in his op-ed, his support on some issues important
to the gay community increased after he left the GOP.
He also praised Obama for his handling
of the economic crisis.
“The president's response was swift,
smart and farsighted. He kept his compass pointed due north and
relentlessly focused on saving jobs, creating more and helping the
many who felt trapped beneath the house of cards that had collapsed
upon them,” he
The chairman of the Florida Republican
Party blasted Crist's editorial as “political opportunism.”
“Make no mistake about it: This is
Charlie Crist trying to shed his skin for a political comeback,”
Lenny Curry said in a statement.
Crist, who is 56 and currently married
to Carole Rome, has previously denied rumors that he is gay or
Crist gay affair claims resurface.)