Charlie Crist’s realization that the Republican party was racist just so happened to coincide with the moment Marco Rubio was set to beat him for the Senate nomination, according to the former Florida governor.
“I couldn’t be consistent with myself and my core beliefs and stay with the party,” he told Fusion on Tuesday. “I saw how the party — some of them — were treating the African-American president, and I couldn’t take it anymore.”
Crist, who had served as Florida’s Republican governor (and previously as attorney general) since 2007, switched to an independent during the 2010 Senate race after it became apparent Rubio would likely win the nomination. In 2012, Crist endorsed President Obama and became a Democrat.
While characterizing Republicans as “anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment,” he claimed that “about the only thing that’s changed about me is my party affiliation.” When pressed about his flip-flopping on issues such as Obamacare and in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants, Crist dodged the questions and instead opted to look towards the future rather than the past.
“Now that I’m liberated as a Democrat, my true soul is able to be seen, and I couldn’t be happier about it,” he said.