12/11/2012 09:45 am ET Updated Dec 11, 2012

Charlie Crist: Strident Republican Party 'Counter To My Values' (VIDEO)

Brand-new Democrat Charlie Crist expounded on his decision to switch parties in a set of interviews Monday, saying he no longer fits in the "less tolerant" Republican party of 2012.

"Issue after issue, they seem to get more strident, and more difficult if you will, less tolerant, less welcoming," the former Florida governor said on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight."

"Whether it was immigration or education or voter suppression that we saw recently, each and every one of these issues was counter to my values that my mother and father raised me on, and the kind of ethic that I believe in," he said. "That we should be a tolerant people, a welcoming people, and try have a big tent as a party rather than trying to shrink things."

Crist added that his parents were still Republicans, and placed the blame for the direction of the party on GOP leadership.

Also appearing on MSNBC Monday, he said he was "much more comfortable" in the Democratic party.

Crist was elected governor of Florida in 2007 as a Republican, but became an independent in 2010 in order to run against Marco Rubio for Senate. Crist was defeated handily by Rubio.

On Friday, Crist tweeted his official announcement that he was switching to the Democratic party.

There is speculation Crist wants his old job back, and may launch a 2014 bid for governor.


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