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Politics

Charlie Crist slated to speak Thursday at DNC

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will address delegates at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, when the gathering moves to Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.

The Democratic National Committee confirmed Crist will speak on the convention's final night, sometime before President Barack Obama gives his nomination acceptance speech.

Crist, an independent who was elected governor as a Republican, endorsed Obama for re-election.

Crist's appearance comes after he was criticized last week in Tampa by leaders of his former party over his change in allegiance. Crist switched to a no-party candidate in 2010 when running for Senate after polls showed he did not have the votes to beat Marco Rubio in the GOP primary.

In a statement, Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry said Crist's appearance at the DNC will be odd because the former governor "built his career bashing virtually everything President Obama and the Democrats stand for, including the president's spending programs and ObamaCare."

Crist's DNC remarks come after a new Public Policy Polling survey found that his popularity had declined since endorsing Obama and earning the speaking spot.

The convention began Tuesday at the Time Warner Cable Arena in downtown Charlotte, N.C., and shifts Thursday to the much larger football stadium a few blocks away. It's a similar plan to that used by the DNC in 2008, when the convention was moved to the Denver Broncos stadium for the acceptance speech.

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