Charlie Crist's new book: Rick Scott is a 'terrible governor,' Sarah Palin is 'different'
A soon-to-be released memoir by former Gov. Charlie Crist details Crist's rise to political power, his decision to leave the Republican Party in 2010 and how his marriage proposal to Carole Rome was interrupted by a neighbor who wanted to watch a Tampa Bay Rays game.
The Party's Over: How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat is scheduled to be released Feb. 4. The Tampa Bay Times received an advance copy Wednesday.
In it, Crist discusses how he says the Republican Party became more and more conservative in 2009 and 2010, and how Crist became isolated as a moderate.
He also recalls his 2010 U.S. Senate election, and how he says former President Bill Clinton almost persuaded Democrat Kendrick Meek to drop out of the three-way race including Crist, who was then an independent, and Republican Marco Rubio.
"I kept hearing the deal seemed on. Then maybe it wasn't. Then maybe it was again," Crist writes.
Meek stayed in the race, and Rubio won comfortably.
Crist writes that Rubio was more moderate as a member of the Florida House than he is today.
"He was bright and energetic — conservative for sure. But I wouldn't call him an inflexible ideologue. We differed on some things. There was the time he wanted to totally eliminate property taxes. And the time he'd written an op-ed about what he considered my excessive environmentalism. ...
"But those were normal Tallahassee tussles. No big deal. We had a friendly, usually productive relationship. ...