The Washington Times - August 26, 2012, 11:41AM

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, estranged from the Republican Party after he ran as an independent in 2010 and lost to now-Sen. Marco Rubio, announced in an editorial in the Tampa Bay Times on Sunday he is endorsing President Obama.

In the editorial, Mr. Crist, 56, praises the president as a “smart,” “farsighted” leader who “served as the nation’s calm through a historically turbulent storm.”


But with his former colleagues gathering in Tampa, Fla., for the start of the GOP convention, the former governor couldn’t resist a jab at the strain of tea party conservatism that led to his departure from the party.

“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. Look no further than the inclusion of the Akin amendment in the Republican Party platform, which bans abortion, even for rape victims,” he writes.

“The truth is that the party has failed to demonstrate the kind of leadership or seriousness voters deserve,” he concludes.