Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida who later became a political independent, has announced that he's supporting President Obama. Crist praised Obama in an essay that ran Sunday in the Tampa Bay Times for his leadership during the financial crisis. "It was no ordinary challenge, and the president served as the nation's calm through a historically turbulent storm," Crist wrote. He also commended Obama for investing in the nation's public education system and working to upgrade the country's infrastructure. The former governor harshly criticized the GOP for veering to the extreme right on issues like immigration and abortion.