WASHINGTON (CNN) - Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is on the verge of announcing his bid for the U.S. Senate, which would provide a significant boost to Republican recruiting efforts for the 2010 elections if he decides to take the leap.
Several sources tell CNN that Crist is seriously leaning towards a run, and could declare his candidacy as early as next week – perhaps Monday. The timing would provide Crist with enough distance between the close of Florida’s legislative session and staking out his own day to declare his future political plans.
Crist has been talking up a Senate run with friends, a source close to the governor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tells CNN. Another source, close to the Crist family, said that the governor’s wife has been telling friends her husband is going to run for the Senate. And a third Crist source tells CNN all indications are that he is in, but cautioned it was not 100 percent and noted there was still a chance for the governor to pull the plug on a Senate bid.
So far, Crist has been coy about his political plans, only saying publicly that he would make an announcement once the legislature gaveled out of session.
Crist is a very popular governor in the Sunshine State and his entrance into the Senate race would take huge financial pressure off of national Republicans to help fund a campaign to save this Republican seat currently held by retiring Sen. Mel Martinez. An April Quinnipiac Poll showed that registered Republicans would vote for Crist over potential primary rival Marco Rubio, 54 percent to 8 percent. But the poll also found that more people overall and Republicans specifically would rather see Crist run for re-election as governor than seek the Senate seat.
Rubio is a former state House speaker who announced his candidacy earlier this week and is seeking to align himself with the conservative wing of the state party.
"Some believe that the path to security and prosperity is a larger government involvement in our economy," Rubio said. "That what we need is a government that spends more money ... a majority of us don't agree with that view, and we deserve a voice in American politics."
Among the issues Rubio said he will emphasize are tax reform and a balanced budget amendment.
Crist, who supported President Obama's stimulus package, is considered to be a centrist Republican.
CNN's Kevin Bohn, Mark Preston, John King, and Jessica Yellin contributed to this story.
In 2010 many incumbants will be booted out of the Senate. I for one WELCOME the certain changes to come. Hopefully the liberal stranglehold we find ourselves in now will be broken by the Charley Crists of the world.
The republican party keeps talking about Reagan, they cannot get out of the 20 century. That is their biggest problem, they think we are still living in the 1980's and that controls their thinking, their ideas, their outlook on life.
I will never vote for a person who keeps talking abou the 20 century and all its glory. The best thing in last 40 years was Clinton who balanced a budget which he inherited with a 290 billion dollar deficit and we had the best eight years of economic growth and job creation ever and when he left office he left a 226 billion dollar surplus that the idiot spent in the first year and still had to average borrowing 1.9 billion dollars a day for every day he was in office.
He must be tired of living next door to Limbaugh.
Okay, we are going to take a Florida Governor and make him a Senator. He is really undesirable. Not just republican. He has not done anything for us in Florida. Look at property tax and actually read between the lines, homeowners insurance. You guys have to be kidding.
I'm with Elaine on this one.
He's a usless as a cypress knee. He's not only raised taxes, he's also raising insurances for homeowners. The insurance industry is way out of control in this state and he's done nothing about it. They're probably funding his election campaign.Reducing insurances was one of his "promises" and the reason I voted for him. Sorry I did!!!!!!!!!
It's no wonder so many are leaving this state and heading to the Carolinas where there are many more incentives to do so. I would if I could ever sell this house.
Yes, let Charlie putz run in 2012, that will gaurantee an Obama victory. You people outside of Fla. have no idea what a loser he really is.
Has he got Rush's approval??
A centrist Republican more than likely will be another that party head Rush Limbaugh will deem to be not a REAL Republican thus causing the far right wing to shun him tel him to become a Democrat. Plus he actually said YES to something President Obama had suggested. I like him but not a good sign for you Gov in today's GOP.
Florida voter checking in here – Crist is nothing more than a savvy politician, he knows how to play the game very, very well – while doing little to help ordinary Floridians. Developers own this state – our public education is amongst the worst in the country. Gov Charlie may run for the Senate, but those voters that sent Obama to the White House will rally up again to ensure we have TWO democratic Senators in DC. And before he decides, Charlie better consider his fellow Floridian, Boss Rush... Rush HATES centrists!
As a teacher in Florida I'm absolutely dumb-founded by this man's popularity. He supported only merit-pay bonuses rather than pushing to make sure school districts had funds to continue instruction (yes, I'd prefer books for my kids over a subjective raise), he pushed for property tax decreases that sent revenue plummeting - now local governments are inventing outrageous fees to make up the surplus just to function. Those against taxes tend to gain a following. That is, until you want safe streets, good schools, and reliable public service. Crist talks a good game on the national stage, but those who actually live here should know better. You can't have it both ways. It seems so-called conservatives and Republicans are anti-tax - but they are the first to whine when they want something for nothing.
Sorry, but I think we have quite enough self-loathing closeted gay men in Congress, thank you very much.
If Gov. Crist were honest and open about who he is, and was willing to put forward an agenda of equality for ALL Americans, it would be a different thing, but then of course the GOP wouldn't support him.
As things stand, one of three things will happen:
1) The GOP powers-that-be will decide they don't want to run the risk of a gay candidate, and will throw him under the bus;
2) The GOP powers-that-be will use the ~threat~ of hurling him under the bus to get Crist to sign on to every hare-brained bit of neocon-wet-dream legislation they can come up with; or
3) The Democrats or the Media will Out him.
He's absolutely got it, easily.
Because he's a 'tool' and a puppet like all the other political jokers from Florida. I live here, I know how it is. This state is corrupted through and through and has been for decades, gotten much worse thanks to Bush.
And now Crist is T O O L .
Oh GEE Lucky us.
When he finally announces his candidacy, it will be the end to the worst kept secret in politics ....this week that is. But in order to get anything done in Washington, he's going to have to tone down the tanning salon appointments.
Karen from Missouri
You do not trust any Republicans anymore?? Go jump off a bridge you idiot. The Democratts have now controlled Congress for over 2 years and the Country has go to hell. I know, I know it is all Bush's fault. I pitty my childern who will have to pay the burden of Obama and his endless budget deficeits, I call this generational theft.
I am certain you are one of the ones who is waiting for Obama to pay your mortgage and pay for your kids to go to college. You and those like you are a joke. I could go on an on but you will simply never get it because you want someone to do all your thinking for you. Tell you what go call Chris Dodd or Barney Frank I know you can trust them.