Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist made waves this week when he told Fusion's Jorge Ramos that one of the main drivers behind his decision to leave the Republican party in 2010 was race. "I couldn’t be consistent with myself and my core beliefs, and stay with a party that was so unfriendly toward the African-American president, I’ll just go there,” Crist said. “I was a Republican and I saw the activists and what they were doing, it was intolerable to me.”
Um, not exactly.
Having closely covered the 2010 Senate race, Crist's assertion that the Republican party's views on race -- and, in particular, its views on President Obama -- are what led him to leave the party doesn't jibe with what actually happened. "He was happy as a Republican when the polls showed him leading Marco Rubio by 20 points," said Adam Smith, the political editor at the Tampa Bay Times. "Apparently he discovered racism in the party after the polls showed him trailing Rubio by 20 points."
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