Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist of Florida has endorsed Barack Obama in an article in the Tampa Bay Times. He described Obama’s successes and, in the final paragraph in this excerpt, debunked Mitt Romney’s dishonest attempts to claim that Obama is cutting Medicare when it is the Republicans who are backing cuts in Medicare benefits:
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.
He knew we had to get people back to work as quickly as possible — but he also knew that the value of a recovery lies in its durability. Short-term healing had to be paired with an economy that would stay healthy over the long run. And he knew that happens best by investing in the right places.
President Obama invested in our children’s schools because he believes a good education is a necessity, not a luxury, if we’re going to create an economy built to last. He supported more than 400,000 K-12 teachers’ jobs, and he is making college more affordable and making student loans, like the ones he took out, easier to pay back.
He invested in our runways, railways and roads. President Obama knows a reliable infrastructure that helps move people to work and helps businesses move goods to market is a foundation of growth.
And the president invested in our retirement security by strengthening Medicare. The $716 billion in savings his opponents decry today extended the life of the program by nearly a decade and are making sure taxpayer dollars aren’t wasted in excessive payments to insurance companies or fraud and abuse. His opponents would end the Medicare guarantee by creating a voucher that would raise seniors’ costs by thousands of dollars and bankrupt the program.
Crist has abandoned the GOP for the same reason that any sane Republican would, pointing out the fact that “an element of their 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.” Crist concluded:
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.
Things are not going well so far for the Republican in Tampa. Before the publication of Crist’s endorsement, God also weighed in, sending a storm towards Tampa to punish the Republicans for their evil ways. At least that might be the explanation if you accept conservative arguments regarding previous storms being God’s wrath. Regardless of source, Tropical Storm Isaac has led the Republicans to postpone the opening of their convention. Four years ago the Republican convention was disrupted by Hurricane Gustav.