Charlie Crist enters the 'No Spin Zone'

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," February 4, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight. You may remember Governor Charlie Crist, who ran the State of Florida, as a Republican.

Well, now, out of office, the governor has morphed into a Democrat and he's running again.


His new book is called "The Party is Over -- How the Extreme Right Hijacked the GOP and I Became a Democrat."


So, it's interesting. You go to the Democratic Party but you may be on the wrong side of history here as the country seems to be shifting into the Republican precincts.

All the polls say that President Obama's popularity is dropping, and the issues that he's championing, ObamaCare, other issue is abortion, are going the Republicans' way. And you say.



CRIST: We're increasing Democrat, which is great, in my opinion.

O'REILLY: Well, you're a Democrat running on that ticket, so, yes, that would be great in your opinion.


CRIST: Absolutely. Now, but I just think that people participating in democracy, in voting, is the most important thing, whatever party they choose.

O'REILLY: But I was surprised that you switched over. You know, I know a lot about Florida. I used to live there.

In 2006, for example, you ran as fairly conservative Republican. On abortion, you wanted in the State of Florida to outlaw it, except in rape and incest.

But, now, you morphed into, "Hey it's a woman's body. She can do what she wants." It's a pretty big change.

CRIST: Not really. Let me explain if I can, Bill.


CRIST: I appreciate it. When I ran in 2006 in the Republican Primary, I said, "Look, you know, on different social issues, I'm a live- and-let-live kind of guy. Who am I to judge."

You know, that's for somebody else, and it's not me. Very fiscal conservative, you know, I don't want to waste anybody's money.

I don't think anybody does, especially when it's not your money. It's the people's money.


CRIST: So, you know, I really haven't changed that much. My former party changed. And what happened is, the Tea Party emerged after I got elected governor in 2006.

And in 2009, that's when that really came into fruition. And, you know, I guess, the sin that I created was when I was with President Obama in Fort Meyers, Florida.


He was down there to tout the Recovery Act, the stimulus. And while that occurred, what happened is a lot of Republicans didn't like the fact that I literally embraced him and his policies.


O'REILLY: Sure, and Christie got the same wrap. And we understand that. But you did change on abortion. I mean, you have. And that's a pretty signature issue. The second thing is --

CRIST: Not really, if I might, please.

O'REILLY: You've got to tell me how you didn't. Because if you were championing --

CRIST: I'll tell you.

O'REILLY: -- the State of Florida --


O'REILLY: -- outlawing abortion, except for rape and incest, and, now, you're telling us that a woman should control her body. That's a big switch.

CRIST: If I might.


CRIST: When I was a young state senator from Tampa Bay -- back in the early 90s was when I got elected. One of the first votes I had as a state senator was on a healthcare committee.

And the bill said, you have to have a 24-hour waiting period before a woman can have an abortion if she's making that decision. As a Republican back in the 90s, I voted against the bill.

As a result of my no vote, it died on a tie vote. So, I've always been pro-life personally. But in terms of wanting to change the law, what I said in 2006 was, "I'd rather change hearts than laws." And that's still how I feel.

O'REILLY: All right. ObamaCare is kind of going down the drain in public opinion. Are you still behind it.

CRIST: I am. Yes, sir, I am. I think it's the right thing to do to have healthcare for our people.

O'REILLY: But why is the public turning against it.

CRIST: Well, I think it had problems, obviously coming out of the gate with the -- you know, how it's done on the Web and things like that and that's probably frustrating. I'm sure that it is.

But that doesn't mean that the idea is a bad notion. I mean, having healthcare for people that can't afford it and making it affordable for them to have health insurance, I think, is the right thing to do.

O'REILLY: All right. But they're screwing it up in Washington. So, I don't know that -- Scott is going to hammer you with that. He's going to hit you with that.

CRIST: I'm sure he will.

O'REILLY: It'd be interesting to see how the Floridians react to it. I'll give you the last word on it.

CRIST: Well, that's what he's really talked about. I mean, Rick Scott's career has been built on healthcare. And he has the company.


Ethics will be an issue in his campaign, where his company was fined the largest fine --


-- for fraud in the history of the United States of America.

O'REILLY: You're going to hit him with that, huh.

CRIST: Absolutely. It's relevant.


O'REILLY: It's going to be an interesting campaign.

CRIST: Integrity matters, yes, sure.

O'REILLY: All right. The book is "The Party is Over." Governor Crist, thanks for coming in. Good to see you. Thank you.

CRIST: Bill, thank you, my pleasure.

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