Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is a phony, and his claim that he left the Republican Party because it is racist is "ridiculous and silly," says Sen. Marco Rubio.
Crist was running so far behind Rubio in the polls for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010 that Crist dropped out and ran as an independent. Rubio went on to win in the general election.
Crist told Fusion TV
on Tuesday that he didn't quit the party because he was trailing Rubio, insisting instead that he didn't like the racism he saw in GOP party activists.
Rubio, appearing Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto,"
called that claim "absurd" and agreed when asked by Cavuto whether Crist is a phony.
If Crist really thought the Republican Party was plagued with racists, he should have said so at the time, Rubio said.
"Why didn't he switch to Democrat?" Rubio asked." 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?"
Rubio called Crist's claims "absurd" and said he has never met a Republican activist who has been motivated by race.
Crist's phoniness was part of Rubio's motivation to run for the Senate in 2010, he told Cavuto.
"I didn't want my next U.S. senator to be someone like that . . . who would embarrass us by saying these sorts of ridiculous things," Rubio said.
Crist is now a Democrat and is running
for his former office against incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott. Crist is leading in the polls, but Rubio was quick to point out that Crist once led him in the polls, too.
Rubio predicts Scott will win re-election.
"By the end of this election, even Democrats will be embarrassed that Charlie Crist became a Democrat," he said.
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