Crist further angers GOP with plans to speak at Dem Conventionby John Kennedy | August 27th, 2012
Gov. Charlie Crist’s plans to speak at next week’s Democratic National Convention brought a fresh round of outrage Monday from Republican leaders — already sizing up the renegade former Republican executive as a likely opponent in the 2014 governor’s race.
“It’s got to be an historic moment,” said Florida Republican Party Chairman Lenny Curry. “A self-proclaimed Jeb Bush, a self-proclaimed Ronald Reagan Republican, who is on the record opposing most of the policies of President Obama is going to speak at the Democratic convention.
“I’m not quite sure what they’re thinking,” he added. “I know what he’s thinking.”
Curry said, “I don’t know what his plans are. It certainly looks like he’s in a position to do something.”
Curry also challenged Crist’s central theme — expressed in an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday — that the Republican Party had moved too far to the right for him, and that’s why he was endorsing President Obama. Curry and Republican researchers have released a trove of Crist quotes and policy positions from his long political career that clearly cast him as a pr0-gun, anti-abortion, anti-same sex marriage Republican.
Instead, Curry said Crist’s latest move follows a pattern that saw him run unsuccessfully as an independent for U.S. Senate when Republican Marco Rubio became the party’s nominee in 2010.
“Charlie left the Republican Party because it was the most likely scenario in which he could win the United States Senate seat,” Curry said.
The timing of Crist’s announcement — on the eve of the Republican National Convention in his Tampa Bay-area home — infuriates Republicans even more. Asked if the party would run TV spots ridiculing Crist’s conversion, Curry said, “You just gave me an idea.”
“If Charlie Crist wants to…rain on our parade, we’re going to respond,” Curry said.