Washington (CNN) – Sen. Jim DeMint said Wednesday that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist should abandon his Senate bid and endorse his Republican primary rival.
DeMint was asked about chatter that Crist, trailing badly against Marco Rubio in the primary, might decide to run as an independent instead. "I hope that won't happen," he responded.
"That is a sour grapes approach - when you find out you can't win, you bail out just like Arlen Specter did in his [Pennsylvania Republican] primary against Pat Toomey," DeMint said of a possible independent bid by Crist. "I hope that doesn't happen in Florida."
DeMint made his remarks about Crist during a conference call organized to tout his endorsement of Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck.
The South Carolina senator threw his support to Rubio last summer, before conservative activists rallied around the former state House speaker and catapulted him from a long-shot candidate to the frontrunner for the GOP nomination. DeMint has since been one of Rubio's most prominent backers.
Though Crist and his aides have pledged repeatedly that the governor will remain a Republican candidate, his campaign in recent days has avoided questions about a possible independent bid, sparking a new round of speculation and gossip. Crist has until April 30, the filing deadline, to remain in the GOP primary.
"I think there is magnanimous way for Marco's opponent to step out and support him," DeMint said of Crist.
Just maybe Mr. Crist has determined that the GOP no longer has a tent big enough for him. It has been a hard year or two of a lot of backs turned on him. Would you stay?
I said it a long time ago that the teabuggers and the Party of No are eating themselvs up. Keep it up and watch what happens in fall! I love it!
S.C. gov morally bankrupt; the state is economically bankrupt; education is about last in the country; and unemployment about leads the country....and DaMint wants to tell another state what to do?
What an idiot!
I am a liberal social progressive and used to live in Florida and my parents still live there. We are all liberals and we like Mr. Crist's independent streak and he has done more for the state than any governor in the past 30 years. I hope he will run as an Independent. We need more Independents in the Senate for sure. Mr. Rubio might be popular among right wing Republicans but he will not be able to win a statewide open election. Just my opinion.
Why this Mint isn't quitting after losing the battle at waterloo?
DeMint should be the one to drop out. He supports and encourages the violent element of the Tea Party movement. He is a disgrace; the people of South Carolina deserve better.
It was a sore loser move when Joe Lieberman did it too. WORKED for him....
And he should listen to the reactionary DeMint because?
Crist should run as an independent, I'll take him in the senate any day of the week and twice on sundays instead of that odious looking wallet licking Rubio.
Crooks tend to like each other. We know Rubio is a crook.
DeMint supposedly represents my state, but he spend more time in states like Florida and Colorado than he does in South Carolina. Like most people in SC, I can't think of a (expletive) thing he has done except run his mouth.
And Jim DeMint is connected to Florida, how?
Well, I'm from New Mexico and I think that Jim DeMint should go suck a rock. There's my endorsement.
I live in South Carolina and I think Jim Demint is an IDIOT.
DeMint should shut his trap, he's so pathetically partisan and so amazingly lacking common sense he has has NO credibility.
Let people in FLA decide what and who they want in THEIR home state.
Wow. They even try to bully their own party members. For all the talk of Obama being a socialist(from a bunch of people who don't actually know what socialism is), the Republicans and their insistance that anyone who doesn't agree with EVERYTHING they say ALL THE TIME is against America....well, that sounds an awful lot like fascism to me.
DeMint may have trouble holding on to his own seat. He is a crackpot and even in South Carolina...where the first shot in the Civil War was fired...people have their limits.
It should be remembered that Rubio has already been caught with his hands in the party pot. He should not be afforded the opportunity to dig deeper.
Not too long ago Crist was doing great with his poll numbers up there and he was unbeatable. Then one day the empty suited Obama came to Fla and was welcomes with open arms by Crist........the rest speaks for itself.....whether you're dem or GOP,stay away from empty suited,he's a kiss of death
Why did Mitch McConnel lie about the Wall Street reform? Why is the republican party spewing lies instead of living in reality? Can anyone explain what is wrong with them? I miss the republican party that had adults in it.
The movie Outrage delved into some of Crist's relationships. I suspect that the Repubs in charge saw the movie.
Those of us who live in Florida know Rubio is a dangerous demagogue and narcissistic hypocrite whose radical rightism has left our state in shambles. No thank you, Mr. DeMint.
Demint was a propagator of the litmus test for republicans to be "conservative enough." This should be a good endorsement for Christ. For any sane voter, Demint's opinion should be worth zip.
Charlene Crist return to your tanning booth.
Jimmy Ready is there.
Crist is the better of the two evils. We don't want Rubio. There is no need for Crist to endorse a dimwad.