U.S. Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a large crowd Monday afternoon on the North Campus of Broward College. Biden encouraged the audience to support former Florida Governor Charlie Crist in his attempt to return to the mansion in Tallahassee.
Crist, 58 of St. Petersburg, served as Florida’s Governor from 2007-2011 as a member of the Republican Party. He has since changed parties and is running this year as a Democrat.
“It was Charlie who extended the voting hours,” Biden reminded the audience, a majority of which were African-American.
Crist did not speak long at Monday’s event, leaving the words to Biden, whose theme centered on the middle class and its struggles. Florida State Senator Chris Smith, of Fort Lauderdale, introduced Crist and reminded the crowd of the Democratic Party’s policy of inclusion, including equal treatment of the LGBT community.
Crist is seeking to oust sitting Governor Rick Scott from office. Scott, 61, a Republican who lists his home city as Naples, drew sharp criticism from Biden, particularly regarding Scott’s decision to refuse federal funding for train transit.
“Turning down rail cost this state 10,000 jobs,” Biden said.
Monday’s event drew a large number of college students, including 22-year-old Matthew Hirsch, who said he supported Crist because of his approval of same-sex marriage. Currently, there is a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Florida, which several judges have ruled unconstitutional.
“Charlie is going to change that,” said Hirsch, who said he studies geography at the campus near Pompano Beach.
Biden touched very little on LGBT issues, but acknowledged that Florida was at the “epicenter” for the national narrative.
“America is always about tomorrow,” Biden said. “It’s about that promise that if you work hard and the field is level you can make it.”
Biden made no mention of his future plans as speculation continues to swirl around the Vice President making another bid for the oval office. After his speech, Biden joined Crist on the rope line, posing for many pictures and shaking a lot of hands.
The general election is Nov. 4.