November 9th, 2009
12:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Club For Growth officially picks Rubio

The Club For Growth officially backed Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race.
The Club For Growth officially backed Marco Rubio in the Florida Senate race.

(CNN) – The conservative Club For Growth formally endorsed former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio Monday over the Republican Party's choice of current Gov. Charlie Crist in that state's Senate primary race, setting the stage for what again could be a bitter intra-party battle within the GOP.

"Marco Rubio is the real deal, one of the brightest young stars in American politics today, and a proven champion of economic liberty," Club President Chris Chocola said in a statement. "He is a dynamic spokesman for the principles of limited government and economic freedom, and he will make a fantastic senator."

The endorsement is not surprising, especially after The group launched a television ad last week attacking Crist for claiming recently on CNN he did not endorse President Obama's stimulus measure back in February.  In fact, Crist did attend a rally with the president during which he hailed the measure as one that will "reignit[e] the economy."

"Charlie Crist has repeatedly joined with big government liberals on major economic issues facing America today, from taxes to spending to cap-and-trade," Chocola said. "He represents the wrong direction for our economy and our nation."

The endorsement comes weeks after The Club spent upwards of $1 million in a special New York congressional election on behalf of a third-party conservative over the Republican Party-backed candidate. When the Democrat ultimately won what had been a longtime reliably Republican district, those conservatives faced fire from some in the GOP for language that seemed to push moderates away.


Chocola said Monday electability wouldn't be an issue in the Florida race. His organization has spent months studying the Florida race, he said, and has determined either Crist or Rubio has a good chance of beating potential Democratic nominee Kendrick Meek in a general election.

"The only question now is what kind of Republican will Florida send to Washington next year: a pro-growth Republican with a record of fiscal conservatism or a big-government Republican with a record of tax increases?" Chocola said.


Filed under: Charlie Crist • Club for Growth • Marco Rubio • President Obama
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Oh what a shocker. Wouldn't it be ironic if the Senate moves 61-39 dems, because of this? lol

    November 9, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Crist will beat him.

    November 9, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Jim

    It’s interesting to me that the Club for Growth does not support a single policy that has been proven to actually grow the economy. The funders are all super wealthy right wing ideologues who want to cut their own taxes.

    November 9, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. katiec

    Another radical religious right group trying to take over the control of our country.
    Be wary, voters. While hiding behind the Bible these hypocrits never hesitate to lie, distort, incite hate, anger, fear mongering while touting their definition of Christianity.

    November 9, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. Jake

    a conservative is a conservative. as if it matters. . .Rubio? Crist? either will just say no to anything progressive.

    November 9, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    Watch Conservatism thrive in the months to come! Obama's tax and spend policies will evoke a tidal wave of revolt in America! I pity those that jump on his Titanic!

    November 9, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. Bed time for Raygun

    Its time to tax all these nonprofits,clubs and think tanks from both sides.Churches that spew politics should be included also.

    November 9, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. Nick

    The Capitalistic model for growth and profit at any cost is a cancer that will eventually kill our societies and likely human kind itself.

    November 9, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    This is what needs to happen. People need to wake up to the lies of the DNC and RNC and think for themselves.

    November 9, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Reginald Sermersheim

    Has no one in the Press or anyone thats part of this debate courageous enough to point out to Ms Palin that this counry already has death panels. They go by the name of insurance companies..

    November 9, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. Victim of reading other Victim's posts

    This is no longer funny. We realize the GOP is in trouble. That, very literally, even if half of the garbage was true that they claim about Obama, that America at large would still side with our sitting president in lieu of being lumped together with these wingnuts.

    They have a lunatic, pill-head screamer as their leader, a former beauty queen and half-term governer as their attack dog, and their pal Dick "13% approval" Cheney spouting off about God-knows-what, all the while acting outraged that the majority of Americans still like our intelligent, well-to-do commander -in-chief.

    November 9, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. Tina

    Finally the majority of conservatives are fighting back - We've been quite and it so happen that liberals had been picking on conservatives for quite a while and had let them do what they like. This time, the mojority of this country will not be in slumber no more. I hate politics, but, I have to stand for what is right as what the founding fathers had made this country "for the people, by the people" of this country - definitely not "for bigger/controlling government, by the soliatistic government".

    November 9, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  13. Lynne

    CNN viewers continue to decrease so have the owners now decided to try to draw Fox viewers with nonstop coverage of the Republicans/Conservatives? Or is the startegy to spend the next three years trying to keep the country in election mode??

    Are you going to interview and outlijne exactly what this socalled "Club For Growth" actually stands for and their strategies for achieving goals or are you going to continue to pump them up as your do the Republicans with their broad, rhetorical language??

    November 9, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. mjm

    When the Democrat ultimately won what had been a longtime reliably Republican district, those conservatives faced fire from some in the GOP for language that seemed to push moderates away.

    Oh really? 7000 people voted for Dede even though she dropped out. Conservatives can't help it if voters are stupid and through away their vote.

    Hoffman ran for 1 month and almost won. Dede stabbed her party in the back. Things will be different in 2010.

    Also, Armey was brilliant in what he said earlier about the health care bill.

    November 9, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    This is the same group of people who cite the Bible for their arguments that the health care reform bill should deny lower income individuals (read: inner city minorities) who are on the public option reimbursement for an abortion...why?...because they want to keep those people right where they are (read: in poverty) by disallowing them the exercise of their Constitutional rights (note: Roe) by saddling them with the inability to make prudent economic decisions...such that generation after generation is stuck.

    November 9, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  16. Robert J 1

    Come on people.
    The stimulus package in February everyone attributes to the President is correct. You just can't get the right president to attribute it too. remember Bush? Stimulus was his plan first so the Repubs wouldn't look stupid (good luck with that!) and by the way you idiots (republicans) should be happy becuse it is one (and only) thing started by Bush that seems to have worked somewhat correctly. Albeit to straighten out the mess he created anyway ! Maybe Bush's forte was money and not war? Huh? watcha ya' think? NOT When it comes to bailing out financial failure just look to both old man Bush and Georgy boy.They have this knack of covering their a–! Course Grandpa B was no piker either during WWII !

    November 9, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  17. VON BISMARK -Vienna

    Which is more important: keeping Americans healthy or spending on unnecessary wars? Only in America can people be overtly foolish and use stupidy for political ends.

    November 9, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  18. Christian Values

    Club for Growth is nothing more then a religious cult whose members seek to cut their own taxes. They have been lying and sinning since inception.

    November 9, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. chill

    Talk about your foregone conclusions...

    Now introducing the new Democratic Senator from the Great State of Florida.......

    November 9, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Count Chocola's been drinking kool-aid made with holy water for a bit too long it seems...

    November 9, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  21. Fools and their freedoms are soon parted

    Hopefully Rubio will have a spine to stand up to these constitution gutting, crooks and liars that run the democratic party.....Go Rubio!

    November 9, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  22. Mark My Words

    Many libs and media like to talk about a big rift in the Repub party. You should simply realize that the unaffiliated conservative party is larger than the Republican party and that the Repubs. will move back to the right if they want to stay in power. Look at the Dem party that is ripped in half due to the radical leftist agenda.

    November 9, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. Back to Basics

    It seems the Republican party has awoken! For too long, they've tried to do what the democrats have done and tried to please everyone, even at the imperil of millions of unborn.

    This guy "gets it". He understands TRADITIONAL VALUES ARE PROGRESSIVE. Whereas, LIBERAL VALUES ARE MEDIEVAL.

    November 9, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. too bad the republiklans lack ideas

    with the MSM, every thing is about the next election!

    All we hear on CNN and FALSENEW is about political campaigns, rallies, endorsement, donations and fund raising and millions being raised and spent to win/lose elections; but do these politicians actually do their jobs?!

    the electorate is more like a tool...pump you up; fill you up with garbage...about being conservative or your enemy is a liberal; and then take your little earnings to add to their campaign funds, and support a mega millionaire to seek a political office...who will continue to seek more more for saying stupid things like " YOU LIE" and more hatred like Pain-Lin who sings about "death panels" yet making millions writing a stupid book; this from a woman who can't put a coherent sentence together!

    Yeah, this is America...stupidity pays....you folks should continue to be a cow and or sheep and being led by rush, beck, hannity, painlin!!!!! – Ask these FALSE NEWS pundits how much they got in their bank accounts!!!

    November 9, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. PEACE ON EARTH

    Just another reason to SWITCH to MSNBC

    November 9, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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