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Biden: Crist Is All About The Middle Class That Republicans Abandoned

Party-switching candidate for Governor Charlie Crist always says he didn’t leave the Republican Party. It left HIM. At A campaign rally at Broward College in Coconut Creek on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden helped Crist develop that theme. WLRN-Miami Herald reporter Rick Stone was there.

Before Crist took the stage, several hundred people waited patiently in Broward College's auditorium, most of them loyal Democrats now supporting a man who was last elected as a Republican. Among them was Danny Halpert, a former history teacher. He said he thinks Crist and his old party evolved away from each other. 
“It’s a Republican Party historically that was made up of some very fine people, going back many decades, and the Republican Party then changed,” said Halpert. “And they changed for the most ugly reasons.” 
Biden seemed to agree with Danny Halpert in a way that excuses Crist for his former party affiliation. “This is not your father's Republican Party,” said Joe Biden. “This is a different deal!”
In a 23-minute speech. Crist only took three, Biden spoke nostalgically of the strong middle class that both parties supported in his youth. But he said modern Republicans and the Scott administration -- people he repeatedly referred to as "these guys"-- have hobbled the middle class with tax policies, persistent low wages and unaffordable health care. He told the crowd the U.S. is on the verge of renewed greatness, and it will be time for Charlie Crist and his policies. 
“We got to deal the middle class back in,” said Biden. “Because if we don’t we're going to have  gigantic problems.” 
Biden spoke earlier at a synagogue in Boca Raton. Jill Biden, his wife, appeared at Florida Atlantic University and an American Legion Hall in Miami.

Rick Stone has been a journalist in Florida for most of his career. He's worked in newspapers and television but believes that nothing works as well as public radio. He and his wife, Mary Jane Stone, live in Broward County.