November 9th, 2009
12:56 PM ET
5 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. Volly

    If there is enough political distance between these conservative candidates, then organizations such as the CFG should unite, splinter off the GoP and form another conservative political party.

    What they greedily covet are the votes of moderate conservatives (and conservative swing independents) that would provide them platform support for policies and ideologies that are anathema to many American voters.

    The GoP and the 'Splenetic Conservatives' would likely form voting coalitions where their policies overlap greatly, such as in fiscal matters. Thus, a schism would not necessairly harm mainstream conservatism, it would reinforce it.

    Those of us who choose not to support the party of "wealthy ideologues" as Jim so aptly put it, can then opt for the alternate conservative candidate, moderate or not.

    It's clear that Reagan's big tent is no more, and that we need a new referendum on what ideologies form the core mainstream conservative thought.

    November 9, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. Robert

    The "conservative" recipe for growth is a discredited set of ideas. Repeating them over and over again with more insistence won't make them work any better. This ideology had its chance. We as a majority voted for it, as it turns out, against our own better economic interests.

    10 percent unemployment, recession, offshoring and downsizing were the actual results. Enough already.

    November 9, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. TRADITIONAL VALUES ARE PROGRESSIVE!

    The liberals have hijacked the term progressive by re-defining "regression". The freedom of traditional values is what the founding fathers fought and died for. The liberals want to throw us back into a state of godless, medieval times and call that progressive.

    The wisdom of the founding father's must be preserved. This man can do just that in politics.

    Conservatives are progressive – and we MUST FIGHT!

    November 9, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. Proud Member..Party of No

    Fifty-eight percent (58%) of likely voters say it is likely the next president of the United States will be a Republican, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

    The number has been trending in this direction since Democrat Barack Obama took office in January and is up 14 points since then.

    November 9, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  5. danel

    Club for Growth is another tentacles that clings to tea parties, bithers, and death panels.

    November 9, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Mercedes

    I live in Miami, Florida and I can tell you that Cubans will most likely vote for him in high percentage but not this hispanic woman. I will vote for the democratic candidate with eyes close. This guy is from the very conservative part of the Republican party and I don't agree with their views.

    November 9, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. John

    The club for whose growth? Yours and mine, or the privileged few? Understanding who these people are that stand behind Rubio is probably more I
    important than their sunshine group title.

    November 9, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. mike

    the conservatives who do you think these people work for I mean there day job is it the average joe or do they work at all
    I never heard of them when bush was in office now they came out of the wood work the tea party who are these people they never complained when bush drove up the debt now its a problem or are
    they the problem

    November 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  9. Hypocrisy

    Crist makes a good Governor, but I'm still on the fence about him being a Senator. I'm very disappointed in his decision to run for the Senate instead of re-election. And I feel that his recent actions on the Stimulus Package make me question his commitment to conservative principles. I'm not an ideologue, but I don't really follow how of he can say he's for fiscal responsibility at the state level but he's open to stimulus money from Washington at the federal level, then turn around and say that you're against it. This makes John Kerry look consistent.

    November 9, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. disgusted

    Did you mean Club for Greed?

    November 9, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Frank, Las Vegas

    And the New GOP pushes out another moderate. There's no room in the New GOP for moderates, there's plenty of room in the Democratic Party. I saw that the latest survey shows the GOP is down to 17% of Americans now. Soon to be the Republican Group.

    November 9, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. CW in PSL

    None of them will win the Senate seat in FL anyway....Democrats all the way!

    November 9, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Please stopr censoring...thx S Callahan

    Could this explain the storm coming through Florida? pun

    I think this year there's going to be alot of status quo changes and some very very unhappy people who are used to power and loose it.

    God said..If my people would pray I will heal their nation....I suspect there are lots of people praying this year!

    November 9, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  14. Stephan

    Let the games begin. Watch as the Club for Growth and Palin et al line up behind Rubio, attack Crist and in the end the Dems pick up another Senate seat. The GOP is about to eat their own young.

    Tidal wave?? Looks more like Red Tide to me.

    November 9, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Word of advice Rubio, not all endorsements are good ones. You must have not paid attention to the NY23 race.

    November 9, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  16. george from alaska

    what in the world is a "big government liberal"? the one's that want "big government" liberally applied to interfering in our daily lives are idiots like rubio & palin who want the government to decide our "moral" values and cram their ignorant false beliefs down our throat. they cater to their base consisting of "special" needs adults that like to continually bang their head against the wall of "conservative" economic destruction. stop formulating your core values by watching fox tv you fools!

    November 9, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Barry

    Typical for florida. What a bunch of right-wing nut jobs.

    November 9, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. notimpressed

    Continue....if you don't believe me just go to Tampa, they have their Confederate Flag hagging in all the main areas instead of the American Flag. When I see this it's really a sad bunch of hate mongers, they look at everyone as if they are entitiled and your not.

    November 9, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. CJL

    Nice. Although I don't have a huge problem with Crist, I feel as a general rule, the more conservative a politician, the better off America is.

    November 9, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. jay

    Why is it bad to say no to a debt that has tripled since the Bamster took over? Why is bad to say no to a health care bill that adds to the deficit? Anyone who believes this is either a Democrat or an unispried thinker, and ignorant of how economics works. You cannot put 40 million on the governemnts dole, and not expect SOMETHING to go up. Whether actual costs to consumers, or a tax, it has to be paid for somehow. For example, when debating Medicare in the late 60's, it was suppose to cost 11 Billion by 1990. Its actual costs were 111 billion, or ten times the expected amount. In 1987, the cost Medicaid was suppose to cost 1 billion by in 1993, in actuallity it cost 17 billion, or 17 times the estimated costs. The two major health entitlements the government has started were suppose to be cheap and suprise suprise, were not. So, if hisotry has taught us anything, it is that the government intervention CANNOT control health care costs. It is ironic that on this day, the day the Berlin Wall came down and freed billions of people, the country most reponsible for the fall of COmmunism is slowly marching down that road

    November 9, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  21. Reformed Republican

    Well, the CFG support for Rubio seals it for me...I'M VOTING FOR CRIST!

    Why? Because the CFG is nothing but a paid shill and thinly veiled front for the batcrap crazies and Taliban-like evangelical vigilantes that are running the GOP.

    To help raise money for the campaign the CFG is now selling bibles, burkas and hijabs autographed by Rubio on their web site...

    November 9, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  22. notimpressed

    This guy is clueless if he thinks he will beat Gov Chris he's not red neck enough to win Florida.

    November 9, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  23. Todd (not the Alaska Separatist)

    Great, maybe he'll suffer the same fate as that right-wing clown that crashed and burned in NY district 23, which hasn't elected a Democrat for over 100 years until last week. Keep the wingnuts coming please. The Repugs/Team Hate America clearly need more butt-whipping. And wingnuts living in Real America, please continue to move to Texas.

    November 9, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Todd

    Rubio is the real conservative. That christy he's just a RINO! Break out the tea bags, were havin' a party!

    Which of these disgraceful psuedo-conservative RINOS we going after next? Get rid of them all!

    November 9, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  25. notimpressed

    No more religious righteous nuts, we've been threw enough here in florida.

    November 9, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
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