Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist was campaigning for Obama last weekend in Ohio and at one rally, he explained why he admires Obama so much and put an end to the Republican myth that Obama isn’t bipartisan, saying, “(T)his great man, this great president, came to Florida even though I was a Republican at the time.” Crist then talked about how much Obama wanted to help the 100 percent of Ameircans and how Congress just said no.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone describe the gridlock in Congress quite so well or with the credibility Crist brings, having been a Republican at the time when he first worked with the President to help his state of Florida.
The Tampa Bay Times reported Crist saying, “He wanted to do everything he could. He was imploring the congress to help people – real people, all of them, 100 percent – and the congress just said no.”
Crist, who ran for the Senate as an Independent and is now loathed by Republicans, endorsed Obama in August. That same month, he wrote an editorial for the Tampa Bay Times explaining that he left his party because it “has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve.” Crist further clarified that while working with Obama made him a pariah to Republicans, “I didn’t stand with our president because of what it could mean politically; I did it because uniting to recover from the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes was more important than party affiliation. I stood with our nation’s leader because it was right for my state.”
So that man, the man who said the Republican Party has become too extreme to govern the people and who used to be a Republican himself, but who put his state and the people over the Republican Party’s goal of crushing Obama, he has some credibility. He took a stand for the people of Florida, his party be damned.
Crist told a TV interviewer this past weekend that Obama came to his state to help even though he was a Republican, and he endorsed the stimulus for helping his state — something you won’t hear other Republicans do, even though they had their hands out for it and took the money and posed for ribbon cutting ceremonies at projects funded by the stimulus.
To a TV interviewer, Crist spoke how much the stimulus package helped Floridians: “I understood and saw as governor of Florida, this great man, this great president, came to Florida even though I was a Republican at the time, helped us with out teachers, our firefighters, our law enforcement officers.”
This is what things could be like if Republicans could actually run on their own ideas instead of ginning up hate and obstruction for political purposes. Crist was a Republican in ideas, not as a reaction to being out of power. Republicans used to work with Democrats and Democrats with Republicans for the good of the country and its people. Country first.
Now, Republicans will do anything to destroy Obama, including saying no to helping the American people out of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression – a crisis brought on by their own party’s malfeasance. Ironically, they have managed to blame the lazy 47% for a fate brought on by the Republican Party’s policies. Republicans blame the people hurt by the GOP’s extreme, big spending ideology rather than take responsibility for their failed policies, huge deficit, unfunded wars and tax cuts and laissez-faire approach to too big to fail. Laissez-faire until the banks needed taxpayer bailouts, that is.
This, of course, is the people’s fault according to Republicans and the people need to make more sacrifices so that the Romney and the Republicans can give yet another unfunded tax cut to the rich.
President Obama implored Congress to help all people, 100 percent of them, and Congress just said no. Now, those same obstructionists are running on that failure to help you and blaming it on Obama. In spite of their just say no mantra, Obama managed to get a lot done, but there’s obviously a lot more to do. Just imagine what we could get done for the people without a Congress full of petty partisans.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.