Freshly-Minted Democrat Charlie Crist: ‘The GOP Left Me’


"I've had friends for years tell me, 'You know Charlie, you're a Democrat and you don't know it," so said former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist last night after leaving a holiday party at the White House, where he finally, after dipping his toes into the water as an Obama-supporting "independent" for a few years, registered as a Democrat. And according to Crist, it's the party's fault he left in the first place.

"What changed is the leadership of the Republican Party," Crist said. "As I said at the convention, I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me. Whether the issue was immigration, or education, or you name it — the environment. I feel at home now."

President Obama clearly approves: he reportedly congratulated Crist with a fist bump, which in Democratic circles is as good as being knighted, but doesn't necessarily guarantee Crist a spot at the head of the line for another gubernatorial run.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

Other prospective candidates include former chief financial officer and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, state Sen. Nan Rich of Weston and former Miami-Dade Commissioner Jimmy Morales.

"Crist was an absolute warrior for President Obama and as a result, many of the party activists I talk to are willing to welcome him with open arms, and there is no question he is an extremely viable candidate for governor, though I don't think that beating Alex Sink in a primary is any kind of sure thing," said Democratic strategist Steve Schale, who worked on Sink's campaign as well as both of Obama's Florida campaigns.

Sink says Crist's move has not influenced her decision whether or not to run.

[Crist's Twitter image via JMG]


  1. Lars says

    This is good news and all (welcome to the fold). But if he now tries to run for elected office as a Democrat, his change in affiliation will look like nothing but INCREDIBLY self-serving.

  2. Rick says

    I guess the fact that he is still closeted and will most likely remain so just goes to show that, no, most gay Democrats are no more likely to be “out and proud” than gay Republicans are.

  3. says

    maybe he’s doing it in reverse…. usually conservative closeted folk come out at gay first, then “liberal” after.

    a different roll-out plan? first, no longer casting anti-gay votes to appease a GOP base. second, attempting to turn that into some silver-fox cache. or something.

  4. Moz's says

    no democrat can win florida governorship nor has any dem won fl governorship for decades

    a former repub now dem crist surely can take the fl governorship from criminal scott so get over it purity trolls

    purity tests are for repubs not big tent dems

    also from past experience we already know crist exapands voting rights not restrict them like scott

  5. DannyEastVillage says

    You guys need to cut him some slack: every one of us had our journey out of the closet. For a Florida republican the journey is, perhaps, longer than for people from many – perhaps most – other places in the country. I say better late than never. At least he hasn’t done it the way that slime ball Mehlman has done it.

  6. TerryA says

    He has a history of promoting anti-gay policies…supporting and promoting Florida’s Amendment 2 marriage ban (which I believe also bans civil unions), opposing adoption for gay and lesbian couples. If he’s going to be a Democrat, he seriously needs to jettison that crap. Republicans support that bigotry. Not Democrats.

  7. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ RyanInWYO,

    Yes, find one closeted Dem, and to a Republican troll like Rick, that somehow can negate the reality that gay Republicans are overwhelmingly more closeted than gay Democrats. Likewise, the trolls on this board will come across one homophobic Hispanic preacher, and they think that negates the 70% support for gay rights and marriage equality from Hispanics. And guess what else the trolls think one data point negates? The ugly reality that their stinking white evangelical Xtian relatives are to blame for slowing down the progress toward equality.

  8. Fahd says

    I think he can do whatever he wants. If he can get himself elected as governor of Florida as a democrat who’s RUMORED to be gay, that’s great. A democrat will always be better than a republican in any political office, from my point-of-view. Of course, I voted for Marion Barry (true story).

  9. shanestud says

    “I’ve had friends for years tell me, ‘You know Charlie, you’re a Democrat and you don’t know it,” so said former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

    They also said: “You know Charlie, you’re a big homosexual and you don’t admit it”

  10. tim says

    The Bed-hopping Single Closeted Gay Republican’s Guide to Becoming President of the Unites States…
    Step 1. Get married.
    Step 2. Leave the Republican Party and become “independent”. (Check)
    Step 3. Leave Independent party and become democrat.
    Step 4. Run for president in 2016.

  11. Bill Perdue says

    The ease with which Democrats become Republicans and vice Both versa is an indicator or their fundamental agreement on most political questions, including the rights of women and the GLBT communities.

    Both want to leave marriage equality up to the states. Both oppose the right to free, federally funded abortions on demand for women of all ages.

    Beyond that both parties are run by union busting scabs and mad dog warmongers. Both support offshore oil drilling, fracking and both oppose stringent air quality standards. Both bash immigrants, arresting them and tearing apart families. Both opposed the Bill of Rights, support FISA. the Paytriot Act, arrest and detention of American citizens without trial and Obama’s newest assumed imperial power, the right to murder American citizens without trial and on a whim. And needless to say both support the torture and imprisonment of gay.antiwar hero Brad Manning.

    So ‘news” like this is not news at all. Another DLC right centrist joins Obama and the Clinton’s in leading Democrats to the right, trialing and trying to outflank the Republicans from the right. Democrats don’t mind one way or the other.

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