- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said in an interview Tuesday that the primary reason he left the Republican Party is because of its “intolerable” racism.

The Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat told Fusion TV’s Jorge Ramos that he saw so much hostility toward President Obama that he just “couldn’t take it anymore.”

“They’re perceived now as being anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment,” he said. “I just wasn’t comfortable.

“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 said.

“I was a Republican and I saw the activists and what they were doing, it was intolerable to me … I couldn’t take it anymore,” he added. “I am liberated as a Democrat, my true soul is able to be seen, and I couldn’t be happier about it.”

Mr. Crist is running again for governor and currently has a double-digit lead in at least one poll over Gov. Rick Scott, Fusion noted.

The Democrat has faced criticism for flip-flopping on many major issues, and Republicans are calling his racism claims dishonest.

“Being a flip-flopper is bad enough, but playing the race card to win over voters is pitiful,” Republican National Committee spokeswoman Izzy Santa said in an email to Fusion.