Charlie Crist never got along much with Marco Rubio, not when the former was governor and the latter was speaker in 2007 and 2008 nor when the two squared off for U.S. Senate in 2010.
Rubio won that contest, forcing Crist out of the GOP along the way. Now Crist, who recently became a Democrat, says he left the Republican Party because it had bigots. Rubio said today on Neil Cavuto's FOX show that it's baloney.
[video from Fusion]
Jorge Ramos: The moment where you decide to leave the Republican Party was because you were going to lose to marco rubio?
Crist: No, 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. You know, because I was a Republican and I saw the activists and what they were doing, it was intolerable to me.
[End Fusion video]
Cavuto: What did you think of that?
Marco Rubio: I think it's ridiculous and silly. Two points I would make. First of all, I’m even cautious to even dignify that with a serious response. My prediction is that by the end of this election, even Democrats will be embarrassed that Charlie Crist became a Democrat. I would say that if this was in fact how he felt at the time, why didn't he say it? Why didn't he say I'm not running as a Republican because I think the Republican party has become what he accuses it of becoming and why didn’t he switch to Democrat? Why did he run as an Independent? Why didn’t he do that at the time? Why did it take him four years to say what he's saying? It's just not a serious thing. That’s my second point. I've never met a single Republican activist involved in my campaign that has ever, in my opinion, ever been motivated by race to state their objections. I think it's absurd and quite frankly it's barely worthy of any sort of response. But because he's running for governor of my state, I guess I need to say what I said.
Cavuto: Do you think he's a phony?
Rubio: Absolutely. I believed that during the campaign. That's one of the reasons why I ran for the U.S. Senate. I didn't want my next U.S. senator to be someone like that, who wouldn't just be trustworthy in moments of importance to the country, but who would embarrass us by saying these sorts of ridiculous things.
Cavuto: If he's a phony, he leads in the polls. It’s still early.
Rubio: He led in the polls against me too.
Cavuto: Very good point. Very good point.
Rubio: I think once people start to focus in and they realize it's the same Charlie Crist that's running, that he is the same guy that's been basically on every side of every single issue before the country and the state, I think those numbers will change dramatically.