Although Charlie Crist is out stumping for President Obama’s re-election and delivered an anti-GOP speech during the Democratic National Convention last week, he’s not ready to call himself a Democrat.
Crist who served as the Republican governor of Florida from 2007-2011 said he continues to identify himself as an independent when asked by Chuck Todd, host of The Daily Rundown.
“I’m an independent, but I’m happy to be helping the president in Florida,” he said.
Crist initially shed his Republican affiliation when he ran for Senate two years ago in Florida. He did so during the Republican primary as Marco Rubio, who ultimately prevailed in the three-way race, began to overtake him in the polls. Crist has repeatedly said his decision was based on a shift in the Republican Party to the “hard right.”
Asked whether he would still describe himself as he once did as a “pro-life, pro-gun conservative,” Crist answered Todd in the affirmative but with a caveat.
“Yes I would. Even though I’m pro-life, I wouldn’t want to impose my will on others and that's the distinction and the difference,” he said. “I’m the same guy I’ve always been."
In recent months, many have speculated that perhaps Crist’s more prominent profile of late in Democratic circles is a hint that he will run in 2014 as a Democrat against incumbent Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
“I haven’t shut the door and I haven't opened the door [on that],” he said during Rundown. "I just want to try to re-elect President Obama."