In an op-ed in Sunday’s Tampa Bay Times, former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist endorsed President Barack Obama. But Fox News political analyst Brit Hume said on Monday that Republicans are “not at all upset.”
“Charlie Crist really is yesterday’s man in the state of Florida, and I think certainly nationally where he was once thought to have some ambitions and prospects,” said Hume. “Jon, I would say that his announcement for Obama falls clearly under the heading of things the world will little note nor long remember because he established a reputation here in Florida as being an extremely flexible politician. He was once thought to be a conservative Republican, now apparently he’s a liberal Democrat. It’s been a migration that has taken a number of years and it was marked by a number of political setbacks by him. He’s not a big figure anymore.”
In 2004 then-Democratic Georgia Sen. Zell Miller gave a fiery speech before RNC delegates in New York City, but Hume said that Crist’s switch in party loyalty was different.
“Zell Miller was a conservative, he was a Democrat, and at that stage there still were conservative Democrats around. But most of them have moved to the Republican Party, which required a party shift, but not a principle shift for them. So, Zell Miller’s presence was a symbol of a shift in the fortunes of the Democratic Party in the South … This is a different matter with Charlie Crist of course who was once a conservative and is now apparently a full-blown liberal.”
In 2010 Crist was initially the front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination in Florida. When his GOP bid flopped, Crist ran as an independent candidate, but was defeated by Marco Rubio.
“I guess he ran as an independent against Marco Rubio after losing to him in the primary and went nowhere. His star really had begun to fade. It’s kind of sad really,” Hume said.