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. Anonymous

    christ is a loser. hows that better!

    November 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  2. Jack Fl

    I guess Rubio speaks what Club that Growth tells him to speak, that's why Cub that Growth speaks on his behalf.

    November 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Pepou

    And who is this latest dummy ??

    November 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  4. MARK

    I am a huge fan of Rubio. Crist is ok, but I've been supporting Rubio. Either guy will trounce the democrate, Meeks. Meeks is a criminal.

    November 9, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. vic nashville , Tn

    When republicans argued who is real Americans I know its coming

    Now who is real republican

    November 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Todd

    The senate is currently 59-41. Lieberman is no longer a Democrat.

    What we need are plenty of challenges to RINOs out there! take the gop back from these half breeds like christy and scarzoffova, make those infidels leave until the party is pure and white as the driven snow. Let the tea bagging commence!

    November 9, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    I find it hilarious that these birthers, tea baggers, etc think they will gain anything thru these self-destructive political ploys. Splitting the vote will do nothing but make it easier for Democrats to win even more seats. Of course the zealots will scream even louder and go even further out into the poitical wilderness, led by Fat boy and Caribou Barbie.

    November 9, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. J.J.

    Not all Republicans are right-wing, ultra-conservative, religious zealots like Limbaugh, Palin & Cheney. Quite a few are moderates who actually look at the issues rather than wait to have Rush tell them what to believe. The ultra-conservatives are only going to end up driving the moderate Republicans, like myself, out of the party & into the realm of the Democrats. If the conservatives continue doing this kind of stuff, it'll be a long time before the Republicans have control of anything in politics in the U.S.

    November 9, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Ed Tallahassee

    Club For Growth + Conservative Candidate = Democratic Win

    November 9, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. sean

    Club for Growth has wrecked the Arizona State Legislature- this ought to be bad news for Florida if this guy wins...

    November 9, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Once again the systematic political "cleansing" of the GOP by the right-wing fringe continues. The radical religious right and the neocons can't stand to have their perspectives of the world questioned...especially if those questions are coming from inside the GOP. So, as a result, despite the "big tent" philosophy that Ronald Reagan championed in creating the modern Republican Party, the conservative extremists would rather have the party lose election after election....as long as the politics from the GOP is "pure".

    November 9, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. Terry from West Texas

    Oh, and I forgot to mention to Tina that Lincoln, who prayed that the "government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth" was bitterly opposed by the Conservatives of his time. They said some very very ugly things about him.

    We can't blame Conservatism for Lincoln's assassination, but the deranged John Wilkes Booth was certainly not a Liberal – that's for sure.

    November 9, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Mike Cannon

    As a Democrat I've got to love watching the right wing nut cases tear apart the Republican party.

    As a Floridian I will love to have two Democratic Senators once the party of No and Anger purgres itself of all things moderate.

    Limbaugh-Palin 2012!

    WooHoo!

    November 9, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Rob Johnson

    Good. With a little luck, it will be a replay of NY-23 and we'll get a Democrat elected to that seat.

    Keep on "purging" those who are not significantly conservative, and the GOP will go the way of the Whigs. Count on it.

    November 9, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Pete

    Successful political parties look for converts. Unsuccessful political parties look for heretics. In its unending search for ideological purity, they GOP is getting rid of anyone moderate enough to actually win an election. It happened in NY-23 and will happen in Florida.

    Only 17% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans. Now you know why.

    November 9, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  16. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Rubio is committing political suicide, Crist will spank him like a baby.

    November 9, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    Tax any church that is affiliated with politics or promotes a political agenda.

    We left England to get away from being ruled by churches.

    November 9, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  18. the southern progressive

    i live in florida, and i have not seen any raise in taxes, in fact what i have seen is a cut in property taxes, which have cut much needed public programs left and right, including our life saving fire, rescue and police. these people who say crist has increased the size of florida's goverment are liars. just ask the newly thousand of unemployed state and local government workers who are now in line at the unemployment office.

    people please stop lying.

    November 9, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. Bob Dog

    There is very little so entertaining, rewarding an so profoundly fulfilling, than watching the republicans rip themselves to shreds.

    November 9, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Watching Republicans eat their own is almost as much fun as watching indicted Tom Delay dance!

    Great entertainment!

    Thanks fellas!

    November 9, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Peter

    Democrats everywhere should support the Club for Growth and its scion societies in their efforts to disembowel the Republican Party. It's the best way to guarantee Democrat victories in 2010 and beyond.

    November 9, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. james

    The Republican Party needs to have these battles. For too long moderates have infiltrated the party, conning conservatives into thinking that they must negotiate with the Democrat liberals to get things accomplished. Conservatives got lazy and let it happen. The lack of backbone by conservatives got us our socialist president, Barry Obama, and our socialist-controlled House of Representatives. The negotiation is over. Conservatives must regain control of the party if we are ever to rid Washington and the nation of this socialist disease spreading like wildfire.

    November 9, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. I am the flaccid and not so great wizard of rush

    I am wating for the Club for Growth's presidential ticket in 2012
    "Taitz/Bachman"

    November 9, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  24. Mark in Atlanta

    Thanks for showing us the way forward, Club for Growths. radical, out of touch right-wing extremists will continue to torpedo moderate Republican candidates. Since most Americans are revolted by the idea of handing over our Democracy to a bunch of crazy Talibangilists, the country is going to look a lot like NY 23rd for the next few years.

    November 9, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  25. Chris D.

    I'm so waiting for the GOP to actually get a real reality check from the voters......This entire year they've been campaigning against the President. Using fear tactics, bumper sticker slogans, etc....
    But no answers for today's pressing problems.....Just more of the same.

    November 9, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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