Charlie Crist on Wednesday told reporters that he regrets signing an anti-gay marriage petition in 2006.

Crist was running for governor of Florida as a Republican in 2006 when he signed a petition by the group proposing a ballot measure to amend the state's constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual union. The effort failed to gain sufficient support. However, voters approved a similar amendment in 2008.

“Would I do it today? No,” Crist is quoted as saying by the Tampa Bay Times. “I think the best way to judge where my heart is is to look at the deeds that I have done, whether as attorney general, governor – restoration of rights, civil rights cases, things of that nature that I think show a compassionate heart and hopefully someone who cares and knows who the boss is. And the boss is the people of Florida.”

Crist, who last week officially joined the Democratic Party, three months after speaking at the Democratic National Convention (DNC), added that he's a Democrat “because they care, and they're compassionate.”