Race For Governor
10:40 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Crist Blames Bigots For Decision To Leave GOP

Charlie Crist says he was uncomfortable with racists in the GOP.
Charlie Crist says he was uncomfortable with racists in the GOP.
Credit Neon Tommy / Flickr/Creative Commons

Former Governor Charlie Crist is giving a new reason for his leaving the GOP. He says he made the change partly because of bigots within the party.

Crist is now running as a Democrat to replace Republican Governor Rick Scott.

He made the comments about racism within the GOP during an interview Tuesday with Fusion's Jorge Ramos when he was asked about leaving the Democratic Party. Ramos argued that Crist left the Republican Party to run as an independent because he was trailing in the 2010 Senate primary to Marco Rubio, but Crist denied that.

“It was because I couldn't be consistent with myself and my core beliefs, and stay with a party that was so unfriendly toward the African-American president, I'll just go there," he says. "I was a Republican, and I saw the activists and what they were doing. It was intolerable to me."

His remarks about racism within the GOP have been roundly condemned by party leaders. Republican National Committee Spokeswoman Izzy Santa told the Miami Herald, "playing the race card to win over voters is pitiful."

African-Americans comprise 28 percent of the active registered Democrats in Florida.

You can read more at the Miami Herald.