May 8th, 2009
05:34 PM ET
9 years ago

Crist moves towards Senate bid

Crist is moving toward a bid for Senate.

Crist is moving toward a bid for Senate.

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.

Filed under: Charlie Crist
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Slash

    Crist would be a decent Senator specifically because he's the exact sort of Republican that Rush and Cheney hate-a moderate.

    Still, I'll likely be voting Democrat unless their candidate is a moron.

    May 8, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. Bitter, party of one, your table is ready!

    I hope the Republicans reject him and the Democrats take him in. He's a good guy who puts the people of FL above party ideology and if he defects, the GOP will look like a bunch of idiots, again.

    May 8, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  3. just wait for crist to jump ship

    and join the dems

    as most neo-cons have done

    as soon as GW ran out of his usefulness as a front.

    May 8, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. DonTampa58

    @Rufus Leaking - Well said.

    In reality, what exactly has Charlie done for us here in Florida as Governor?


    May 8, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  5. Jason-Florida

    I'm kind of disappointed with this news. I was really looking forward to this election and was hoping that the Dems would pick up another seat. The Dem. primary here looked really exciting. We have a black guy, a Jewish guy, and a gay guy in the mix. Doesn't really matter who wins it now because Christ is all but guaranteed the seat. My only hope is that a Dem. becomes the next governor, but I would also bet against that since Florida seems to overwhelmingly support the Rep. candidate for governor each time around. Well at least we voted Dem. when it counted most...for Obama!

    May 8, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. Flex

    Floridians: bring in some new blood. Vote for someone totally new!

    May 8, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  7. joe smith

    if he really wants to get in, all he has to do is suggest we resume trade, travel and foreign aid to Cuba, and bingo..elected..

    May 8, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. Donatella

    This man will never make it he is gay as they come, also whats up with republicans and those fake tans. Maybe if he was a democrat he might have a change but with those religious nut cases he can hang it up.

    May 8, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. w.l. jones

    Remember intellectural in a certain party is a no no at the top. Said enough.

    May 8, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Stephy

    Go Crist go!!!!!!!!!!

    May 8, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  11. Bud Burgoon-Clark

    He'd best wait and see if he's in the movie "Outrage" ... if he was "out," his orientation wouldn't matter that much; but if it's discovered that he married solely to maintain a facade and further his political ambitions, he's going to be in BIG trouble on the Left AND the Right.

    May 8, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. Lori

    Isn't it funny that Republicans who were against President Obama's stimulus bill are now the ones excited about Crist running? And if he truly is gay, isn't it funny that those that are so anti-homosexuality would support Crist? Sounds like desperation. Welcome Republicans to the other side. Yes, GOP. It is o.k to support the President and it is o.k to be gay.

    May 8, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  13. Evan

    Hey Mike, I've never heard of a CENTRALIST. But, I have heard of a Centrist.

    May 8, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  14. Mark

    I lived in Florida for quite a while. Crist is a good guy. I'm a hardcore Dem, but this man is reasonable, cares about the citizens of Florida, and will not (I hope) be a rubber stamp for the Repub machine!

    May 8, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. independent in alabama

    to mike,

    ugh...what the hell was sooo great about Regan?

    May 8, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Barbara Campbell

    Of course Crist plans to pursue higher office – that's why he got married.

    May 8, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Ula Nejad-Sacramento ,Ca

    Go for it. Senate is the best place to hold more of " that one" in place. Honesty is the best policy. Just say it .

    May 8, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  18. Jayden,FL

    Although you're a pretty good Gov. I'll never vote for you!

    May 8, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  19. Anne

    Those of you that are not Floridians need to be careful what you wish for. This is the one of the worst governors in Florida's history. He will say anything to get elected, having no intention of following through on these promises. Heck, we would be happy if he showed up for work. His political positions change like the wind, examples of this are his stance on off shore drilling and insurance rate cuts.

    If you are looking for an honest Senator that actually wants to go to Washington for the right reasons, this is the wrong man. And for the few of you that based that endorsement on his looks...are you really that shallow? He is married, and yes, rumored to be gay...but so what, I could care less what his sexual preferences are. I do care about his positions on matters that are important to us, such as fiscal responsibility and ethics. The Republican party deserves better!

    May 8, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  20. Rushhole: A neo-con that apologizes so frequently and has been butt-snorkeling Rush they have been completely enveloped by the vast void!

    Sorry, Crist, you might be better doing a re-run as governor.

    Your pro-choice stance and your moderate views will bring out the Rushholes complete with hoods and sheets! They will never stand for a moderate repub, just ask Specter, Snowe and Collins.

    May 8, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  21. Albo58

    Charlie proved himself very shallow indeed by giving tax dollars to the pathetic parents of Martin Lee Anderson BEFORE a decision was rendered against the boot camp guards, thus his political grandstanding could have tainted the jury here in NW Florida! Fortunately, ALL the guards were found innocent. This incident demonstrated to me and a lot of other folks that Crist id just another RINO that would throw his mother under a bus if he could get ahead! So, if Charlie runs, I'll be voting for the "lesser" of the Democrats!

    May 8, 2009 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. Mark

    He would be a good senator as would Mark Rubio, who has already declared his candidacy.

    May 8, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  23. Once upon a horse

    seems like a nice guy....TOO nice to be a GOPer and I'm sure once known Rush will deem him not to be a REAL Republican and the far right will toss him aside. In fact they would probably prefer "Joe the Plumber" to Gov Crist.

    May 8, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. pam Eugene OR

    Why does he always look orange?
    I think any Republican is going to have a hard time in 2010 and I don't think Christ is on Limbaugh's good side.
    That assumes Rush has a good side.

    May 8, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  25. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Charlie Crist actually married after a breif encounter with his now wife. But then again, to play in the political world you must have a partner, I mean a wife.

    May 8, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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