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Crist tells Colbert race was a factor in Republican dislike of his Obama hug

by George Bennett | February 12th, 2014

Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert with Charlie Crist's new book.

Charlie Crist says his hug of President Barack Obama in 2009 incensed Republicans in part because Obama is black.

The Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat made the claim while appearing Tuesday night on Comedy Central’s Colbert Report to promote his new book.

Crist was a popular Republican governor when he hugged the recently inaugurated Democratic president at a February 2009 rally in Fort Myers to promote the $787 billion Democratic stimulus bill. The hug helped crystallize GOP discontent with the moderate Crist, who fell behind Marco Rubio in the quest for a Republican Senate nomination and left the party in April 2010. Crist became a Democrat in late 2012 and is now the party’s 2014 frontrunner for governor against Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Host Stephen Colbert asked Crist why the Obama hug “ended it” with him and the GOP.

That led to this exchange:

Crist: “Several reasons, I think. Number 1, he was there to talk about the Recovery Act, the stimulus, as people call it. And a lot Republicans took issue with that. So I think that was part of it. Sadly, I think another part of it was that he was a Democrat, but not just a Democrat, an African-American, and…”

Colbert: “Oh, you’re not going to play the race card.”

Crist: “I’m not going to play it, no.”

Colbert: “You just did. You just did. Would you like to pick it up again and put it in your pocket? Because you just played the race card.”

Crist: “Yeah, well, I’m just trying to tell the truth. I’ve seen a level of vitriol directed at this president that I have never seen directed at President Kennedy or maybe President Johnson or even President Carter.”

17 Responses to “Crist tells Colbert race was a factor in Republican dislike of his Obama hug”

  1. ted Says:

    He is full of S–T, Crist is such a career politician he doesn’t even know what the word truthful or commitment means. I’m a pepub, no I am an independent, no wait I’m a Dem. I go where anybody will give me money to run!

  2. S. Steele Says:

    Kudos to Charlie Crist. The last statement says it all! As a white registered Independent I too have never seen such “vitriol” directed at any former President! Thanks for the honesty!

  3. RadioMain Says:

    Crist telling it like he see it…Repugs can’t handle that…THE TRUTH!!

  4. Mike Says:

    Flip Flop Charlie couldn’t be farther from the truth, The people no longer trust Him because He shifts political parties at will and the people of Florida want and need a Governor that stands for something !, Now if We can get rid of Bill Nelson !!!

  5. whynott Says:

    Crist is just like Obama with all his excuses. He has flip flopped more than anyone running for office. He only has the socialist and teabag party to run on if he loses again. Just another career politician with lots of lies behind him . He does not even know what the truth is. His name will keep appearing in this paper as a free ad until the election that Crist self appointed himself as the democratic runner. Dems get a life a get a real candidate who will fix this state and not make a mockery of it because his is such a loser in every respect.

  6. FormerNYer Says:

    I am an Independent and I live in FL. I appreciated C. Crist when he was our Governor. I appreciate him even more now that he is telling it like it is. I will be voting for him for Governor when the time comes. Can’t wait for Android Rick Scott to get out of office.

  7. Nemo Says:

    People need to be educated and not be fooled by politicians like snake Crist. To falsely accuse the Republicans of not being racists is a misnomer of history and ignorance. He is a liar. It was the Republican party guided by Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves. Most of the southerners are by nature Democrats racists and liars. Anybody who vote for skin color is racist. I do not care if you are black or white. you have to vote for character

  8. Louie Says:

    To say there was no vitriol directed at GWB is a lie.
    A few Google searches will show it.
    Some of the protest marches that took place in S.F./NYC might jar your memory.
    Nice try Charlie.

  9. Diablo Says:

    Say what you want about Charlie, but Scott is the devil. The stereotype of the corrupt ideological, greedy business man. Mr. Burns in real life. I also love the people who think changing political parties in some sort of unpatriotic act. Thinking your political party is more important that your country (or state) is ignorant. By the way Nemo, if Lincoln, Ike, or even Reagan were still around today, they would not be Republican. Scott is a very bad man.

  10. whynott Says:

    Lots of Dem trolls on here who do not care what the new governor will be like as long as you get rid of Scott.Just think Crist three times and you are outlLook what happened to Christie when he hugged Obama .Crist is the worst choice get new blood not steal politicians

  11. Hit the showers Charlie, you reek Says:

    What a bullshtter… on Abe Lincoln’s birthday, of all days, we get this story!

    Colbert: “Oh, you’re not going to play the race card.”
    Crist: “I’m not going to play it, no.”
    Cowabunga. A white guy BS artist playing the race card.

    Crist is a revisionist.
    He knew then Obama was very far left radical and as far as this picture he took with Barack ‘Porkulus’ Obama, people were laughing & shrugging their shoulders at the SUPER Rino— race was NOT a factor.
    Another poster mentioned the avalanche of hatred vitriol against W… which had few precedents. Too true.

  12. Dave Says:

    Charlie Crist just says where ever he thinks the political wind blows.

    When Governor, he didn’t want the job. His mistake was not appointing himself to fill the open US Senate seat.Instead he put his stooge chief of staff, then Crist loses to Rubio (Primary & General)

    Won’t make same mistake again…will appoint himself US Senator when Nelson or Rubio seat opens.

    If elected, he’ll serve until he appoints himself a US Senator…1 day or 4 years, doesn’t matter.

  13. Follow the money Says:

    The only people helped from Scott are the auto and house insurance companies. Both were supposed to go down and both have gone up. Mine have and NO claims. Oh yeah, the companies that make money when we pee in bottles have done very well.The rest of us have been used as tools.

  14. Fed Up Taxpayer Says:

    Crist says Race was a factor in opposition to his Obama hug. He’ll use any angle to get sympathy votes. He truly is disgraceful. Nice of him to stir up race while running for Governor. Really, Mr. Crist, you think you should be Governor again?

    As Jeb Bush’s team stated today Crist is a “Habitual opportunist with zero credibility”

  15. Fed Up Taxpayer Says:

    Crist winning will be identical to Scott back in. Same policies, same GOP principles (or lack thereof).

    Under no circumstances will I vote for that. There’s a viable choice in Sen Nan Rich and that’s who I plan to vote for.

  16. Turncoat Charlie Says:

    Instead of playing the race card, “Turncoat Charlie” Crist should have played the joker. He is a bad joke!

  17. Ted the Nimble Says:

    Crist is a loser. Of course he is jumping on the Liberal Hussein’s racism thing. Stupid Libs, go back to over taxed New York/Jersey!

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