Tampa, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., ridiculed Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s switch to the Democratic Party, saying his accusations of GOP racism are “ridiculous and silly,” and that Democrats themselves will be “embarrassed” to associate with such a “phony.”

Speaking to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on Wednesday, the Republican Florida senator and 2010 primary victor over Crist – who was then a member of the Republican Party — said that Crist’s recent comments that the GOP’s “intolerable” and “unfriendly” attitude toward “the African-American president” are just absurd political talking points.

“I think it’s ridiculous and silly. Two points which I would make. First of all, I’m even cautious to even dignify that with a serious response,” Rubio told Fox News. “My prediction is that by the end of this election, even Democrats will be embarrassed that Charlie Crist became a Democrat.”

Rubio questioned why the former GOP Florida governor had not made the comments about his “core values” being insulted by the Republican Party until just recently. Rubio asked why he wouldn’t run as an independent again or the fact that it took him four years after his loss to begin criticizing the GOP with his current racially-based accusations.

Crist switched to the Democratic Party with his Dec. 7, 2012 announcement that he was endorsing President Barack Obama and planning his run for governor in this 2014 election.

“It’s just not a serious thing,” said Rubio.

When asked by Cavuto whether or not he thinks Crist is a phony, Rubio responded, “Absolutely.”

“That’s one of the reasons why I ran for the U.S. Senate. I didn’t want my next U.S. senator to be someone like that, who wouldn’t just be trustworthy in moments of importance to the country, but who would embarrass us by saying these sorts of ridiculous things,” said Rubio.

“I think once people start to focus in and they realize it’s the same Charlie Crist that’s running, that he is the same guy that’s been basically on every side of every single issue before the country and the state, I think those numbers will change dramatically.”


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