Charlie Crist

  • Aired:  02/11/14
  •  | Views: 15,740

Former governor of Florida Charlie Crist discusses his book "The Party's Over" and explains how the rise of the Tea Party drove him to become a Democrat. (6:19)

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY,MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A FORMER

GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA WHO SWITCHEDFROM BEING REPUBLICAN TO

DEMOCRAT.

PLEASE WELCOME CHARLIE CRIST.

PAY, THANKS SO MUCH, THANKSSO MUCH FOR COMING ON.

IT'S GREAT TO HAVE YOU ONHERE.

GOVERNOR, WE WILL GET TOWHAT I WOULD CONSIDER YOUR

CHECKERED POLITICAL CAREERIN JUST A MOMENT.

BUT FIRST LET'S GET THISRIGHT OUT OF THE WAY HERE.

YOU'VE GOT A NEW BOOK CALLEDTHE PARTY IS OVER.

HOW THE EXTREME RIGHTHIJACKED THE GOP AND I

BECAME A DEMOCRAT.

THERE IT IS.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)YOU BURIED THE LEAD RIGHT

THERE AT THE END OF THETITLE.

YOU WERE A REPUBLICAN, YOUBECAME A DEMOCRAT.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: HOW, AT LONGLAST SIR, HAVE YOU NO SHAME?

>> I AM JUST HAPPY TO BE ADEMOCRAT.

I REALLY FEEL AT HOME.

I ALWAYS KIND OF FELT LIKE AROUND PEG IN A SQUARE HOLE

IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

AND IT ONLY INCREASED-- .

>> Stephen: YOU WERE ROUND,THEY WERE SQUARE, THAT MAKES

SENSE.

>> RIGHT T DOES, IT DOES,YES, SIR.

BUT YOU KNOW, AS THE PARTYCONTINUED TO DRIFT FURTHER

AND FURTHER TO THE RIGHT,WITH THE RISE OF THE TEA

PARTY.

AND AS A RESULT OF THAT, IJUST GOT MORE UNCOMFORTABLE

WITH IT.

>> Stephen: WHAT WAS ITABOUT THE MODERN REPUBLICAN

PARTY THAT DIDN'T APPEAL TOYOU ANY MORE.

>> JEB BUSH SAID IT VERYWELL HIMSELF.

THE MODERN REPUBLICAN PARTYLEADERSHIP APPEARS TO BE

ANTI-WOMEN, ANTI-MINORITY,ANTI-IMMIGRANT, ANTI-GAY

COUPLES,ANTI-ENVIRONMENT,

ANTI-EDUCATION.

I MEAN PRETTY SOON THERE ISNOBODY LEFT IN ROOM AND IT

JUST WASN'T A PLACE I WASCOMFORTABLE BEING ANY MORE.

>> Stephen: ISN'T THAT THEWRONG WAY TO LOOK AT IT.

IT IS PRO FREEDOM.

ALL THE THINGS YOU JUSTNAMED INVOLVE SOME KIND OF

REGULATION OR GIVING AWAYOUR FREEDOMS TO PEOPLE

DID NOT EARN IT.

>> THAT'S A POINT OF VIEW.

>> Stephen: YEAH.

IT'S THE CORRECT POINT OFVIEW, OKAY.

>> RIGHT, RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WELL, I DISAGREERESPECTFULLY.

>> Stephen: YOU DO.

OH, THAT'S ONE OF YOU.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

YOU ARE RUNNING FOR GOVERNOROF FLORIDA AGAIN.

>> YES, SIR.

>> Stephen: NOW AS ADEMOCRAT.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: AGAINST RICKSCOTT.

>> INDEED.

>> Stephen: DO YOU EVEN HAVETO CAMPAIGN.

CAN'T YOU JUST SAY I AMCHARLIE CRIST.

I USED TO BE GOVERNOR, HOWABOUT MORE OF THAT.

>> YEAH, WELL, HONESTLY, IWISH IT WERE THAT EASY BUT

THE MAN HAS SAID HE IS GOINGTO SPEND $100 MILLION ON

THIS CAMPAIGN.

HE SPENT $75 MILLION OF HISOWN FOUR YEARS AGO.

>> Stephen: HOW MANY-- AREYOU GOING TO SPEND 75

MILLION OF YOUR MONEY THISTIME.

>> I DON'T HAVE THAT MUCHMONEY.

(LAUGHTER)SO NO, NO, NO.

>> Stephen: WHERE ARE YOUGOING TO GET IT BECAUSE IT'S

HARD TO GET THAT KIND OFCASH.

>> IF PEOPLE WANT TOCONTRIBUTE CHARLIE

CRIST.COM WOULD BE A GOODPLACE TO GO.

(APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

OKAY.

>> WE NEED IT.

>> Stephen: OKAY.

ARE YOU AFRAID OF RICKSCOTT.

>> NO SIR, I'M NOT, I'M NOT.

>> Stephen: YOU'RE NOTAFRAID THAT HE WILL UNHINGE

HIS JAW AND TRY TO SWALLOWYOU.

I MEAN YOU'RE RUNNINGAGAINST A NATIVE FLORIDA

SWAMP CREATURE.

>> HE'S FROM TEXAS.

HE JUST MOVED TO FLORIDA INTIME TO QUALIFY TO RUN.

YOU HAVE TO BE THERE SEVENYEARS BEFORE YOU CAN RUN FOR

GOVERNOR, HE GOT THERE JUSTIN TIME TO BE ABLE TO RUN

FOUR YEARS AGO.

>> Stephen: WHY DO YOU WANTTO BE GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA

AGAIN, IT IS A TOUGH STATETO GOVERN.

IT IS A TOUGH STATE TO LIVEIN.

YOU KNOW.

I MEAN IT'S WARM ANDEVERYTHING.

BUT WITHIN IT'S A BEAUTIFULPLACE.

>> Stephen: IT IS A CRAZYSTATE.

>> IT'S INTERESTING.

IT'S NEVER DULL.

BUT IT A BEAUTIFUL PLACE.

>> Stephen: YOU SAID AT THEEND OF YOUR REPUBLICAN

POLITICAL CAREER CAME ABOUTWHEN YOU WERE HUGGED BY

BARACK OBAMA.

>> Stephen: YES.

>> IT FIGURES PROMINENTLY INTHE BOOK IF I MAY READ THAT.

>> YOU INTRODUCED HIM, WHATYEAR.

>> 2009.

>> Stephen: 2009 HE HAD JUSTBECOME PRESIDENT OF THE

UNITED STATES.

YOU INTRODUCED HIM INFLORIDA AND YOU SAID LADIES

AND GENTLEMEN PLEASE GIVEA WARM FLORIDA WELCOME TO

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMAHE WALKED OUT TOWARDS ME.

BOTH OF US SMILED.

THE APPLAUSE WAS JUST ABOUTFRANTIC.

WE SHOOK HANDS.

THE NEW PRESIDENT LEANEDFORWARD AND GAVE ME A HUG.

REACH, PULL, RELEASE.

AS HUGS GO, IT WASN'TANYTHING SPECIAL IT WAS OVER

IN A SECOND, LESS THAN THAT.

IT IS THE KIND OF HUG THATSAYS HEY, GOOD TO SEE YOU

MAN, THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

THE KIND OF HUG I HADEXCHANGED WITH

THOUSANDS OF FLORIDIANS OVERTHE YEARS.

I DIDN'T THINK A THING ABOUTIT AS IT WAS HAPPENING BUT

THAT SIMPLE GESTURE ENDED MYCAREER. IT

REST OF MY LIFE. REACH, PULL,RELEASE.

( APPLAUSE )>> THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED.

UNBELIEVABLE.

>> Stephen: REACH, PULL,RELEASE.

>> YEAH.

>> Stephen: ARE THOSE THETHREE WORDS YOU WANT TO USE

WHEN YOU ARE TALKING ABOUTTHE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED

STATES.

>> MAYBE NOT.

MAYBE NOT, NO, BUT-- .

>> Stephen: WHY DO YOU THINKIT ENDED IT FOR YOU?

>> SEVERAL REASONS, I THINK.

NUMBER ONE, IF HE WAS THERETO TALK ABOUT THE RECOVERY

ACT.

THE STIMULUS AS PEOPLE CALLIT.

AND A LOT OF REPUBLICANSTOOK ISSUE WITH THAT.

SO I THINK THAT WAS PART OFIT.

SADLY I THINK ANOTHER PARTOF IT WAS THAT HE WAS A

DEMOCRAT.

BUT NOT JUST A DEMOCRAT, ANAFRICAN-AMERICAN.

AND.

>> Stephen: ARE YOU TO THEGOING TO PLAY THE RACE CARD.

>> I'M TO THE GOING TO PLAYIT.

>> Stephen: YOU JUST DID.

YOU PICKED IT IT UP AGAINAND PUT IN YOUR POCKET, YOU

PLAYED THE RACE CARD.

>> YEAH, WELL I'M JUSTTRYING TO TELL THE TRUTH.

I HAVE SEEN A LEVEL OFVITRIOL DIRECTED AT THIS

PRESIDENT THAT I HAVE NEVERSEEN DIRECTED AT, YOU KNOW,

PRESIDENT KENNEDY OR MAYBEPRESIDENT JOHNSON OR EVEN

PRESIDENT CARTER.

>> Stephen: ALL RIGHT.

IF IN THE COURSE OF THECAMPAIGN YOU WERE APPROACHED

BY THREE MEN WHO WERE ABOUTTO HUG YOU, JOSEPH STALIN,

DARTH VADER OR BARACK OBAMA,YOU HAVE TO HUG ONE OF THEM,

WHICH WOULD IT BE.

>> MY PRESIDENT, NOQUESTION.

I LOVE HIM.

>> Stephen: BARACK OBAMA.

(APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: WELL, GOVERNOR,

GOOD LUCK.

>> THANK YOU.

>> Stephen: PLEASE COME BACKONCE YOU'RE THE GOVERNOR

AGAIN.

YOU JUST GOT THE COLBERTBUMP.

>> ALL RIGHT.

>> Stephen: GOVERNORCHARLIE.

>> GOVERNOR CHARLIE CRIST,THE PARTY'S OVER. WE'LL BE RIGHT

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