ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Charlie Crist was a GOP darling, until he got too close to the president.
Today, President Obama used Crist as an illustration of how getting too chummy with the other side can be political poison.
"Well, the president's a gentleman, and I think the world of him. That's why I endorsed him. It doesn't surprise me that he would say something nice about someone else who tried to be decent to him when he was trying to help our state," said Crist.
Crist was referring to the stimulus money he accepted back in 2009, and the political backlash that followed. In his speech today, the president drew a parallel between the rancor that befell Crist and the toxic division in Congress.
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"What I think it illustrates is a desire by this president, President Obama, and many people in the country. I think most Americans, that they want to rise above partisan politics and want us to work together, want us to cooperate and do what's right for them. After all, if you're in public office, you're a public servant first," said Crist.
Analysts believe voters dont like the platform of a small group of extremists. Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie blasted extreme members of the GOP for roadblocking recovery money after Hurricane Sandy.
"I think what's happened to the Republican party is that it's been hijacked, and I hope it's temporary, because if it's not, it's not going to be a good result," Crist said.