NPR logo Charlie Crist Denies Indie Run Was Because He Was Losing

Charlie Crist Denies Indie Run Was Because He Was Losing


When Florida Gov. Charlie Crist decided to run for U.S. Senate seat as an independent, many observers strongly suspected it was because he was trailing badly in polls to Marco Rubio, the Tea Party movement's favorite, in the run-up to the Republican primary.

But Crist says that wasn't the case at all.

At a recent meeting with the Palm Beach Post editorial board, Crist had the following exchange with a journalist:

JOURNALIST: But if you had been 20 points up in the polls over Mr. Rubio, would you have left the party to run as an independent?

CRIST: Absolutely. Yes, I absolutely would have. Because I think it's that important. Sure I would have.

SECOND JOURNALIST: That's not what you told us a few weeks before you made the move. You were...

CRIST: Well things evolve.

SECOND JOURNALIST: You were here in late February and said 'I don't see myself running as an independent.

CRIST: Well, you know, things do evolve and they change.

So if he had been up 20 points over Rubio with a lock on the Republican nomination, he would have still taken the independent route? That makes absolutely no sense. Yet, he said it. With a straight face. Really quite remarkable.