August 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
“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. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history.”
- Charlie Crist, former Republican Governor of Florida, August 26, 2012
- Source: Piece written for the Tampa Bay Times
- Context: Crist, a former Republican and now Independent, as come out and endorsed Barack Obama for President. His moderate positions put him at odds with the much more conservative Republican Party of Florida. In this piece, written for the Tampa Bay Times, he goes on to criticism what the Republican party has become:
“But an element of [the Republican Party] has pitched 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. Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims. The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve.”
- He praises Obama’s efforts and policies following the financial crisis which he inherited in 2009:
“We often remind ourselves to learn the lessons of the past, lest we risk repeating its mistakes. Yet nearly as often, our short-term memory fails us. Many have already forgotten how deep and daunting our shared crisis was in the winter of 2009, as President Obama was inaugurated. It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation’s calm through a historically turbulent storm.
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.”
“President Obama has a strong record of doing what is best for America and Florida, and he built it by spending more time worrying about what his decisions would mean for the people than for his political fortunes. That’s what makes him the right leader for our times, and that’s why I’m proud to stand with him today.”
July 27, 2012 § 1 Comment
“Including as many Americans as possible in our electoral process is the spirit of our country. It is why we have expanded rights to women and minorities but never legislated them away, and why we have lowered the voting age but never raised it. Cynical efforts at voter suppression are driven by an un-American desire to exclude as many people and silence as many voices as possible.
Our country has never solved anything with less democracy, and we’re far better off when more citizens can access the polls — no matter which party mobilizes the most voters to them. As governor of Florida, I extended voting hours and increased the number of days people could vote. I also restored registration rights for felons, years after starting that effort in the state Senate with a member of the opposite party.
I was a Republican at the time of those decisions, which didn’t make me many friends on my side. But when you do the right thing for the people, a political party’s concerns roll off your back quite easily.”
- Charlie Crist, Republican governor of Florida from 2007 until 2011, July 20, 2012. He left the Republican Party in 2010 and is now an Indepedent
- Source: The voter ID mess subverts an American birthright by Charlie Crist for the Washington Post
- Context: Florida Republicans, lead by Governor Rick Scott, have been pushing hard for laws which would strip many Floridians of their voting rights, specifically in minority communities. This has led the Department of Justice to file a lawsut against the state. In this piece, Charlie Crist argues against voter suppression, and states that his efforts to include more people in the voting process put him at odds with other Republicans. Republicans across the nation have been introducing laws aimed at reducing voter turnout on the basis of preventing “voter fraud”. Critics contend that there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud and that such laws are aimed at manipulating election results in favor of the Republican Party by suppressing the votes of those who vote primarily Democrat.