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.
I thought that Jim Dement had been exiled to Elba after his defeat at Waterloo (a/k/a The Health Care Reform Act).
Florida will never know what hit them if they elect that Mad-Cuban.
Crist should run as an indeoendent, he would definetly win statewide and Florida loves and needs him.
This dim-whit DeMint should not be giving advice to anyone.........He of healthcare being Obama's Waterloo (how did that work out for you dim-whit?) DeMint should just keep his YAP shut and stay out of Florida
That village in South Carolina is still missing it's idiot.
That is more of the Republicn small tent mentality.
Jim DeMint is a lunatic and everything he says proves it. So glad he's not from California!
Maybe DeMint should stay out of the politics of other states and focus on his own. South Carolina and the SC Republican Party are a mess.
Nobody should take advice from DeMint because he was wrong when he said failure of health care reform would be Obama's waterloo and the GOP would break him. DeMint was wrong then and he is wrong now. He is hanging with Rubio so he wants everyone else to do the same thing. Crist should not quit! He has a right to run for Senator and I hope he gets elected. Crist has tried telling the people how bad Rubio is and they should listen. If they don't they will regret it. Alot of folks got mad t Crist for accepting the stimulus money from Obama but Florida needed that money. You don't have Jeb there calling George for money and George jumping on Air Force One to hand deliver millions of dollars to your state. Crist is trying to help the people while Rubio is just another pretty face who can't wait to get his hands on another credit card with unlimited spending.
I live in Florida and most people in this state know that Marco Rubio is a fake and a crook.His good friend from the panhandle,Samson has been indicted on criminal charges and Rubio should face charges with him.Most republicians that run this state are dishonest,Crist is the exception.
Interesting. The day after T-Pers loose Wexler's seat 62-37 DeMint is calling for Christ to step down . . .
The Tea Party ousted a Republican.
Think about that one tea bashers.
Crist should drop out and run as an independent. Why should a capable, talented governor sacrifice what he's known for just to appeal to the extremist nut–jobs in his party?
Rubio is an example of everything that is wrong with the GOP and Florida politics.
Jim Demint is an idiot. Instead of taking care of the many problems his home state of South Carolina has, he is only concerned with advancing his regressive right wing ideas.
I am a native South Carolinian but now live in Florida. As hard as it is to witness what is happening in SC, I can only hope that Florida is more progressive and that Jim Demint will stay out of politics here.
Crist should do a Lieberman-run independent and the democrat should drop out. The party of Luddite extremists will be rejected at the polls
Oops! – Yes, get out of the way Crist! :(
DeMint doesn't know squat about what's best for Florida. Mind your own business.
Why would anyone with any sense listen to a Repub politician from the Carolinas? They are the most hypocritical, double talking, used car salesman breed of politician ever. Totally reptilian.
DeMint should drop out and support Christ.
As some one who leans left I hope Rubio gets the nomination. But Christ is the better candidate to go against a Dem, and to govern, in Fla.
If Charlie Crist feels he can win as an Independent like Lieberman, he has every right to try. He's very popular and could pull it off.
But if it's clear he would lose, then he should drop out and endorse the Republican.
This demonstrates the tyranny of the two party system in this country. DeMint doesn't care about Rubio or Crist. He is just concerned that the Democrats don't get the seat.
The parties have convinced us that independent candidates, in this case a conservative, have no chance to win and that independents candidates only serve to split the party vote, whether conservative or liberal, thus throwing the election to the other party. That is unacceptable in the two party tyranny that dominates all levels of government.
Shame on the parties (in this case the Republicans) and shame on us voters for allowing the tryranny to continue. Take responsibility for your own individual vote. Vote for the candidate you like regardless of party affiliation! If enough people will do that we might have real change and not just the political rhetoric of change.
Remember, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. We must break the cycle of insanity.
Doesn't matter, they can't count ballots fairly in Florida anyway!
Well, Sen, DeMented should certainly know about sour grapes now that Obama's healthcare "Waterloo" turned into a victory.
Rubio should drop out and move to Alaska..
actually...Mr DeMint needs to resign....he is a disgrace...as far as Mr Crist...go for it...you are a reasonable man...not a puppet who can be manipulated by Republican leaders looking for surrogate terroists to do their dirty work...