April 19th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
4 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. STEVEN

    Crist should run as an independent if he wishes so. The Taliban Republican party has taken over that party and you can see how unreasonable they have become. They oppose everything just for the sake of opposing. Rubio is not the kind of person you would expect in the senate. Once all these people with unreasonable views become legislators, what will happen is a repeat of Government lock down like Newt Gingrich's of the past decade. We dont want that.

    April 19, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  2. Ryan

    Crist is one of the few Republicans left with any sense at all. I hope he keeps running as a sane alternative for rational conservatives.

    April 19, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. Bubba

    Man, the G.O.P. is crumbling.

    April 19, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. David in Dallas

    Governor Crist, Please run as an independent. Our country doesn't need another radical right wing republican in the senate.

    April 19, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. maude

    Charlie Crist needs to RUN, not walk, away from the Loonies in the GOP....Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnel, Newt Gingrich, etc.

    April 19, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Constitution believer

    Crist should run as an independent, like Lieberman. I don't like Lieberman at all, he's far too right-wing for me, but at least he's not entirely beholden to the anti-freedom, pro-oligarchy crazies who've gained more and more control of Republican primaries. If Crist were an independent, maybe Florida could maintain some measure of moderation in its Senate representation.

    April 19, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  7. Leslie

    The GOP is such an embarrassment I'm not surprised Sen. Crist wants to separate himself from them.

    April 19, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. charles

    This level of arrogance is precisely why myself & most of my freinds have left the GOP and will not return. THe audacity of a party to suggest that should a person leave their group, he or she should not seek office.
    GOP, your days are as doomed as the DNC. Good riddance to bad rubbish, the lot of you.

    April 19, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Joesnopy

    Crist should have left long ago. I hope he win in the General Election. I mean people are not supporting the man just because he huged Obama. If that is not hate than I do not know what hate is.

    April 19, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Adalbert

    There is no room for moderates in the GOP. They have been taken over by extremists. Everyone but the extremists and the super rich should dump the do nothing republican party. They are useless dinosaurs corrupt to the core.

    April 19, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  11. FRANK, LAS VEGAS

    Gov. Crist Should run as an independent! Here's another case where the party left a moderate for a right wing nut. He wasn't republican enough because he did the right things for the people in his state instead of playing party politics. Hey GOP, remember the people? As for Gov. Crist, welcome back from the dark side. So in NOvember, just vote NO for the party of NO and lets make this country great again.

    April 19, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. HypocriCNN

    ...Are Republicans That Scared Of Governor Crist Turning Independant? They'd Better Be Careful Of Threatening Governor Crist. ~Metaphorically~ "Messing With Vipers Will Only Get You Certainly Snake Bit!"

    April 19, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  13. carlos

    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.

    Typical repulsive ignorance, either you DO or you DO NOT........either way, marquito will not win and now, with the mitt at his side, the kiss of death.....hehehehe

    April 19, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. Recreator

    Governor Crist is being asked to toe the line, under the boot.

    April 19, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. Ed E

    It's starting to look like even republicans are fed up with republicans.

    April 19, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Liberal4Obama

    Wow, and this is the kind of Democracy the Tea Party is fighting for, were a candidate for Senate, Charlie Crist, is basically thrown under the bus and the establishment party candidate, Marco Rubio, is annointed as if he were a king?

    Totally despicable act by the GOP, I only hope Charlie Crist is not intimidated by this kind of thuggery and will actually run as an Inderpendent.

    April 19, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. Sandra

    Maybe he just got a conscience. The e-mail sounds a little threatening to me.

    April 19, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. GCE

    I hope Charlie Crist runs as an Independent and abandons the GOP before the ship totally sinks under the weight of its wackos.

    April 19, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Willy Brown

    Good. Crist is a RINO

    April 19, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Otto

    Run as an Independent young man and you will win hands down. That will teach the NeoCons and Tea Leaf party a lesson.

    April 19, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. aware

    Crist has failed the character test!

    All genuine reform begins with a renovation of the heart. Change never works from the outside-in but from the inside-out! :)

    Character formed by God changes people who then have the tools and animation by the Spirit to change our world!

    Like Obama, Crist has no moral center or Godly code of ethics – he only knows power as in the powers and principalities! :(

    April 19, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. Kathleen

    Marc Rubio, on the Today Show on Feb 20, as ALL GOOD conservatives do, "bashed" Social Security and Medicare!

    OK. Floridians, are you ready to live in poverty without your Social Security Checks? And without Medicare, even if your rich and you get sick, you will go bankrupt should you or a loved one get sick!!!!

    I'd go for a Democrat, or Christ.

    Well, you got to be listening closely of what these conservatives are saying to you. That goes for the Tea Partiers too. The Tea Partiers are fighting AGAINST themselves by holding their signs and saying "No
    Entitlements! for anybody, not even them!!!!!!

    April 19, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Blue State Virginian

    Way to tear up your own team!

    April 19, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Crist is clearly NOT a "top Republican"! If he were, he would not be losing so badly in his primary. If he were, then he would have enough desire and commitment in the party such that he would NOT even think about leaving it.

    He is one of those half-hearted RINO politicos, just like a few other "non-top" Republican RINOs who may chose (or have chosen for them) other employment this year. Crist is also looking to receive free and endless favorable publicity that the MSM will certainly give him in their efforts to defeat Rubio...

    April 19, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  25. robideaux

    Rubio is running to enrich himself and his family.Period.
    I hope C.C. runs as an independant so the radically right wing Rubio can be stopped.He is not good for our state, or our country.

    April 19, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
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