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.
If anyone should quit it should be DeMint. You would be hard pressed to find a bigger jerk than DeMint. Just vote no to anything and everything the democrats suggest. He doesn't care in the least about the citizens of his state. If he did, they wouldn't be among the poorest states in the union. But then again, SC also gave us the hiking gov.
Jim DeMint is one of those who wants President Obama to fail. Perhaps he has forgotten that the Apostle Paul urged us to pray for kings abd those in authority. I Timothy 2: 1-3.
DeMint needs to keep out of our State's affairs! Florida is a purple state, and I think Crist is the best person to represent us in the Senate.
Hang in there, Charlie. Our country needs reasonable counterpoints to the Democrats. Florida Republicans need a good choice, or they will become further alienated from the T-Bag wing of the party. DeMint, Rubio, Palin, Bachmann, etc. are the ones who should step down, for the good of the GOP and more importantly for the good of the nation..
Crist has been a moderate governor and sadly the Tea Baggers have taken over the party in Florida and he will loose the primary but he would most likely win a general election.
Moderates are what we need in Washington, they are willing to deal, the fringes would rather do nothing, which is what we have now.
I would rather see Jim DeMint drop out of politics. My impression of him is that he stands around looking in the mirror imagining that he is Ronals Reagan...
Go independent, Charlie. Would love to see the right wing bite itself right in the ass. Better yet, drop out and run as a Democrat. That would be priceless.
Crist should definitely make the move to Independent. The GOP has turned on him and is supporting this Rubio joker. They've drawn the line between an ultra-partisan thief and one of the few moderates left in the party. They'd prefer a proven conservative trickster over a sensible statesman who has done well for us (I'm in FL) as Governor.
Crist actually has a much better chance by disassociating himself with the far right and running as an Indy, as I believe there will be a surprising backlash against ultra-conservatism at the Florida polls this November.
I say surprising only because FL has traditionally leaned pretty hard right.
All these Republicans should quit!! We need leaders not followers. Republican or Democrat, we need to do whats right, not whats RIGHT.
Who are you to tell Crist what do. Crist I will like if you do what is best for your state.
It is my hope that Crist does not drop out of the race in Florida as suggested by Jim DeMint. The Republican Party is attempting to "run off" all reasonable candidates who are not far-right thinkers leaving a party totally unwilling to negotiate on anything. This means the party of "no", with no real interest in doing what is right for the people, will only do what is right for the Republican party. Mr. Crist has served the state of Florida well. He deserves better.
Jim DeMint really needs to learn to put is brain in gear before putting his mouth in motion.
Last time I looked Florida was not a political sub-division of SC.
Of DeMint, as they'd say in Brooklyn – "whadda maroon."
DeMint needs to stay out of this. He knows absolutely nothing about about nothing
Sour grapes approach? You mean like Joe Lieberman did in CT when he saw he couldn't win the Democratic Primary?
I like Crist. He is more experienced and pragmatic.
I think DeMint and his buddy Graham should quit also. The have NOTHING good to say about the present administration. After all, Obama inherited 8 long years of Bushism!
All they do is cry!
This is proof that Republicans are eating their own. There is no room any more in the party for moderates. It has been hijacked by these far right radicals and alienates any one else. Crist was a good republican before when he was campaigning for McCain. Now he is not!?!? Absurd!
Nothing says getting rid of American Democracy like getting rid of options for the voters...... way to go GOP
Rubio is the one who decided to challenge a popular GOP governor. Rubio never should have gotten in and Crist would have been a lock. Just another far right wingnut!
Can't say that Crist has been particulary good for Florida but Rubio would be a disaster. DeMint should mind his own business.
is anything more fun than watching the Republicans EAT their own??
The Republicans know that Crist is Gay and this will be exposed during the election. So they want him out of the picture now.
Your love affair with Marquito is not shared by all Florida Republicans!
Butt out, you ideologue!
Don't Give up governor Christ. Don't let the corrupt rubio and his thugs roll you.
Don't Give up governor Crist. Don't let the corrupt rubio and his thugs roll you.