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Politics

Charlie Crist Uses Jeb Bush Remark on National TV to Explain Away Party Switch

February 3, 2014 - 6:00pm

Former Gov. Charlie Crist kicked off his national book-promotion tour on Tuesday by hopping from TV show to TV show, using a quote from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to shield him from in-depth questioning about his party switch.

Appearing on Morning Joe, Crist set the tone for the tour, citing Bushs words at last years Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), that the GOP was drifting out of the political mainstream.

Jeb Bush said it better than I can say it, Crist told Scarborough on Tuesday. He said todays Republican Party is perceived as being anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay couples, anti-environment, anti-education. I mean, pretty soon, theres nobody left in the room.

But Bush is backing Scott in the election, something the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) pointed out on Tuesday.

Crist also attempted to explain to Scarborough why he left the GOP and why he is now supporting same-sex marriage, even though he supported a state constitutional amendment back in 2008 which allowed only traditional marriage in the Sunshine State.

Besides his appearance on MSNBCs "Morning Joe," hosted by former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., Crist also made appearances on the "OReilly Factor," the "Colbert Report," CNNs "Piers Morgan Live," and "Real Time" with Bill Maher. Next week, he will start a book tour of Florida.

Crist is the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott in November, despite his many years in the GOP. Polls show Crist leading former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich in the Democratic primary and with a lead over Scott in general election match-ups, though the Republican has made strides in closing the gap over the past year.

Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at Allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter at @AllisonNielsen. Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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