Senator Jack Latvala offers this respond to Charlie Crist’s endorsement of Barck Obama:
As someone who has known Charlie Crist for about 25 years and served with him in the Florida Senate from 1994-98, I believe his endorsement of President Obama today is vintage Charlie Crist: “think of yourself first.”
There is no other explanation for the fact that the Charlie Crist who I served with, who used to routinely stand on the floor of the Senate and ask if there was a new tax or fee increase hidden in a bill would now endorse the President responsible for the single largest tax increase in our nation’s history. I believe that philosophies can change over a lifetime but someone who has any kind of core philosophy to start with doesn’t change 180 degrees. Today’s statement by Charlie Crist was nothing but the first step on his next campaign. The stage was set and he is trying to walk onto it like the opportunist that he is.
Today I am proud to represent the Senate District that Charlie Crist used to represent. It is because of my high regard for the people I represent that I am wading into this issue. I believe the timing of Charlie Crist’s statement today is particularly insulting to the men and women in the Tampa Bay area that Charlie Crist used to represent, who gave him their time and money in his multiple campaigns.
Once again, in keeping with his motto “think of yourself first,” Charlie has chosen to make this statement today when the eyes of the world are on our area, specifically the old Senate District he used to represent. In that district are thousands of Republicans who are very proud the day has finally come that our area can host the Republican National Convention. One of those people is Al Austin, the Chair of the Host Committee, whose dream and perseverance led to the opportunity that our region has this week.
He is the same Al Austin who steadfastly supported Charlie Crist in each of his campaigns, didn’t turn his back on him when he became an independent, and has in many ways treated Charlie Crist like a son. What Charlie Crist has done today is an affront to Al, Governor Bob Martinez, and others like him who have been friends and supporters of Charlie’s through the years but who worked their hearts out to get this convention to Tampa.
Once again Charlie Crist has proven that, to him, no friend or philosophy is as important as the next political office. On behalf of my constituents in Tampa Bay, I resent his attempt to steal the spotlight from our convention and the many men and women who made this day possible.