Charlie Crist implied on the Colbert Report Tuesday night that some Republicans oppose President Barack Obama not just because he's a Democrat, but because he is African-American.
The assertion came as Stephen Colbert was asking Crist about his infamous hug with Obama in Fort Myers in 2009. "Why do you think it ended it for you?" Colbert asked the former Republican governor.
"No. 1, he was there to talk about the Recovery Act, the stimulus. And a lot Republicans took issue with that," Crist said. "Sadly I think another part of it was that he was a Democrat, but not just a Democrat, an African-American."
Colbert: "Oh, you're not going to play the race card."
Crist: "I'm not going to play it, no," said Crist, now a Democrat.
Colbert: "You just did. …"
Crist: "I'm just trying to tell the truth. I have seen a level of vitriol directed at this president that I have never seen directed at President Kennedy or maybe President Johnson or even President Carter."
It wasn't all serious. Colbert was his usual self, asking why Crist would want a return ticket to Tallahassee. "It's a tough state to govern. It's a tough state to, uh, live in. I mean it's warm and everything, but it is a crazy state."
Colbert also asked Crist if he was scared of Gov. Rick Scott. "No, sir, I'm not."
"You're not afraid he's going to unhinge his jaw and try to swallow you? … You're running against a native Florida swamp creature. That doesn't scare you?"