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Obama touts support of Florida's former Republican governor

September 08, 2012|By Christi Parsons
  • President Obama talks with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist at a campaign rally in Seminole, Fla.
President Obama talks with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist at a campaign… (Chris O'Meara / Associated…)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- President Obama appeared here Saturday with former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, whose presence the president cited as evidence that his plans aren't partisan, but sensible.

Crist's support, Obama said, shows that his values "are not Democratic values or Republican values. They are American values."

Introducing the president to the crowd, Crist said he is no longer in the GOP because "they left me."

The break-up occurred in 2010 after Crist left the Republican party and ran for U.S. Senate unsuccessfully as an independent.  Many people expect that he’ll run for governor as a Democrat.

But the endorsement still gave Obama an opportunity to resurrect the sentiment of his popular line from the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he told Democrats that the country is not made up of red states or the blue states, “but the United States.”

He said nothing back then of the purple states -- the swing states that will decide the coming election -- but that's where he's focusing his attention since he accepted his party's nomination at  this year's convention.

This weekend he is doing a bus tour of Florida, talking about his case that Republicans would jeopardize Medicare and harm the middle class with their tax-cut plans.

For a high-quality explanation, he noted, voters can turn to the speech that Bill Clinton gave at the convention. He cited a tweet after the speech in which someone suggested that Clinton should be appointed "Secretary of Explaining Stuff."

Saturday, he revealed that the tweet used a different word than "stuff.

"I cleaned that up a little bit," Obama said.

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christi.parsons@latimes.com

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