April 19th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
5 years ago

National Republicans preparing to back Rubio

The executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee urged key GOP consultants Monday to persuade Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to forgo an independent bid for Senate if he withdraws from the Republican primary, CNN has learned.
The executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee urged key GOP consultants Monday to persuade Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to forgo an independent bid for Senate if he withdraws from the Republican primary, CNN has learned.

Washington (CNN) -– The top political strategist for Senate Republicans urged key GOP consultants Monday to persuade Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to forgo an independent bid for Senate if he withdraws from the Republican primary, CNN has learned.

Rob Jesmer, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, sent an e-mail to national political operatives just before noon in which he also predicted that Crist will decide not to compete in the GOP primary against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.

“We believe there is zero chance Governor Crist continues running in the Republican primary,” Jesmer wrote in the e-mail provided to CNN by a Republican source on the condition of anonymity. “It [is] our view that if Governor Crist believes he cannot win a primary then the proper course of action is he drop out of the race and wait for another day.”

An NRSC spokesman declined to comment on the message.

Crist, the onetime frontrunner for the Republican Senate nomination, trails Rubio by double-digits in recent polls and must decide by the end of the month whether to run as an independent. The Florida primary is scheduled for August 24.

The NRSC has endorsed Crist in the GOP primary, but Jesmer emphasized in his note that the Senate Republican political arm is ready to stand behind Rubio’s candidacy.

Read the full e-mail after the jump:

From: Jesmer, Rob
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2010 11:35 AM
Subject: FL

Just a quick off the record assessment of where things stand in FL.

We believe there is zero chance Governor Crist continues running in the Republican primary. It our view that if Governor Crist believes he cannot win a primary then the proper course of action is he drop out of the race and wait for another day. We have communicated this message indirectly and would have given it to the Governor directly had he returned Senator Cornyn’s phone call.

Whether or not you supported our endorsement of Governor Crist, we all share the same goal of keeping the seat in Republican hands. To that end, if the Governor decides to run independent, regardless of any public commitments he makes regarding organization, we will support Marco Rubio in any way possible.

If any of you have influence with Governor Crist, we hope you will call his campaign and encourage him to do the right thing.

Thanks for your support of NRSC.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Rob


Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • Marco Rubio • NRSC
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Ah, nothing like the fellowship of the GOP and tossing Crist into the waters. You have to wonder if Rubio could win the election in the fall.

    April 19, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. shucks

    Get rid of Crist who even some moderates and democrats like to bring in Rubio as he is the conservative darling right now of the GOP. They will be sacrificing each other publicly soon.

    April 19, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. carlos

    CORRUPTION runs rampart with the repulsives and now want to back another CORRUPT Rubio..........even as he spent their money on personal stuff.......go figure

    April 19, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. AFR531

    Republicans continue to eat their own. Eventually they'll eat the "Tea Party Movement" – or be eaten by them.

    April 19, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Layla

    Gov. Crist:

    My hope is that you will withdraw from this race and declare your candidacy against Sen. Bill Nelson for 2012.

    You'd get my vote.

    April 19, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. ray

    this man rubio is an immigrant hater and racists so i can understand why the red necks on the right love s him.

    April 19, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Sonny

    I'd say Governor Crist should continue his senate bid as independent. We need moderates like Charlie Crist in our Congress. Keep the moderate's voice alive by keeping the fight until the end.

    April 19, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. 8 Years of “trickle down economics” has only left a wet spot on working America's shoes!

    Wow, talk at a group of NAZI's and their "purity test".

    Next a con candidate will have to have blond hair, blue eyes and prove an Aryan background going back 5 generations.

    Now where have I read about that particular group of "purists" before?

    April 19, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. beth60

    This is unfortunate. I think Crist is a good guy and infinitely better for the senate than his opponent.

    April 19, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. FL for Change

    Hello? The people of FLORIDA will decide, thank you. We appreciate that Gov. Crist is a man of moral integrity who did what what RIGHT for the children, teachers, and parents of Florida by vetoing a bill that was being rammed through the legislature and down our throats in order to benefit the Bush brothers. The GOP sickens me, and I am a member. If Crist were to run independent, you'd be surprised how many educators and their family members would vote for him. The party of "no" can get behind Rubio all they want...but the people of Florida are turning more BLUE by the day.

    April 19, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. TransitDave

    Another RINO bites the dust........Rubio Rules!

    April 19, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Marlin

    So much for Republican diversity – let the people decide!

    April 19, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  13. No room for Republicans in the GOP

    Crist doesn't stand a chance. He uses reason to make decisions, and that just doesn't cut it with the GOP.

    He is not pure enough to pass a tea bagger test.

    April 19, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  14. Doc

    What a great Ind. Candidate he would be. Go Charlie, Go! The republican party doesn't deserve you.

    April 19, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. Gary Carter

    The right thing is for Governor Crist to run as an idependent.Rubio is a greed obsessed sellout nutcase.Governor Crist will make the best decisions for Florida.Governor Crist will be elected as an independent.

    April 19, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. striker

    He should run as a Democrat. The GOP thinks of him as a RINO. Let's let them have their party purity (along with the racial purity they so obviously desire) and see where it gets them.

    April 19, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. Futon Torpedo

    Rubio scares me. Kinda like Martin Sheen's character on Stephen King's The DeadZone.

    April 19, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Center Left

    Rubio will lose, he supports Romneycare.

    April 19, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Chris

    When National Politics plays into local politics there is always problems. I support Charlie Crist because he is the most experienced and pragmatic candidate. Rubio has many skeletons in his closet that should anger many people .

    April 19, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. chill

    Another reasonable Republican drummed out of the party. Welcome to the club, Charlie. If independents are truly disgusted with the lack of bipartisanship and gridlock in DC, then Rubio ain't your guy. Just another moderate Clubbed for Growth by the Incredible Shrinking Party.

    April 19, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Tony

    Crist is nothing but a RINO. I will be glad to see him gone.

    April 19, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. LHampton

    Crist, run as an independent. The country needs good and honest politicians who will choose the people over party.

    April 19, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. vance peabody

    Ahhhh – Republican loyalty.

    Go indy, Charlie. I'll donate.

    April 19, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Rob Johnson

    Welcome to the future, Republicans.

    I'm not sure who will play the Ralph Nader role in 2012, but this kind of divisiveness will lead to a third party Presidential candidate in the next election, and therefore to a second Obama term.

    My big question mark is whether the third party insurgency comes from the right wing, if the GOP nominates someone who isn't conservative enough for the Tea Party, or from the center, if the GOP nominates Palin or some other right-wing fringe lunatic.

    Either way, Obama wins.

    April 19, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Off the record?

    Why is it being printed by MSN if it's off the record?

    April 19, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
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