Crist announced Dec. 7 he was leaving the GOP to become a Democrat.
While filing his Democratic registration papers Thursday, he said officials in the Obama administration encouraged him to run in 2014, The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union reported.
He also said he rues signing a 2006 petition to include a ban on same-sex marriage in Florida's constitution.
Shortly after Florida news media posted his comments, the state GOP issued a release that included links to news articles and television appearances in which Crist said he opposed legalizing same-sex marriage.
"Once again, Charlie Crist is showing he has two faces on any issue. When Charlie Crist wanted Republican [and Independent!] support, he took a strong, pro-family stance against legalizing gay marriage. But today, he flipped yet again," the Republican Party of Florida's release said.
The GOP release came on the same day a firm headed by former Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Screven Watson conducted a poll for an unnamed client, the Times-Union said. The poll of 1,000 Democrats indicated Crist had a huge lead over other Democrats, including a 25 percentage advantage over Alex Sink, the party's 2010 gubernatorial nominee.
"These are not independents, these are not general election Democrats, these are primary Democrats. That's his first hurdle," Watson said.
The poll was conducted Dec. 4-9, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.
Swim Week Miami Beach 2014 [PHOTOS]