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. diane

    if romney is behind rubio, and he is, then crist is the best choice.

    April 19, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  2. Roland

    Leaving the Republican party and becoming Independent will be better for him in the long run...when he finally decides to come out of the closet as well.

    April 19, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Deb

    Crist should run as an independent since his own party has abandoned him.

    April 19, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Great! Let those right wing fanatics keep up the "witch hunt" and divide the GOP. This will allow the good guys to win a second mandate in 2012 and ensure that the world does not end for at least 4 more years...

    April 19, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. R.O.B.

    Well if I'm not mistaken a recent poll indicated that Crist would defeat Rubio if he ran as an independent. Which means that the majority of Floridians like Crist over Rubio. So, Crist should do what he needs to do to win since his fellow Republicans have abandoned him.

    April 19, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  6. No exemptions

    I want to see Rubios birth certificate.

    April 19, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  7. RCasson

    Rubio is going to get his ass kicked in the General. The GOP is foolish to throw their moderates under the bus. Moderates can defeat Democrats...tea party loons cannot. As a Democrat, I am glad Crist is not running.

    April 19, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  8. John in Tampa

    If Crist runs as an Independent I will vote for him. I'm in Tampa and that's a promise. I'm an Obama supporter. Rubio commits petty larceny in how he uses his credit cards. And being registered Independent over 30 years myself, I will take the proven competent Crist even over the Dem who is unknown to me. Independent is where you belong, Mr. Crist, as you cannot function at either of the extremes demanded of you by the main parties.

    April 19, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. John in Tampa

    PS: Romey says that Sarah Palin is quslified to be POTUS. Enough said about his judgement in also backing Rubio.

    April 19, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. Doraine Gordon

    Gov Crist should not quit just because the GOP tells him to. He should go ahead and run as an Independent and let the chips fall where they might. Obama's ratings are coming up in Florida so that might tell the voters that Rubio may not make it. Isn't it terrible how the RNC turns on people so quickly? It's either their way or the highway. If you dare cross them in any way, they want to be rid of you. I think it says something for a party that is so quick to kick one of their own to the curb. It tells me they aren't to be trusted. Why would anyone want a party like that to be running our country? I know I sure don't.

    April 19, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Robert

    I don't think Charlie Christ is a bad guy but I'm surprised by the comments. Don't be angry that he can't get the votes of his party, that's the way this democratic republic works. If he does not get the votes he's OUT!

    April 19, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  12. lovable liberal

    Count on Republicans to back the extremist. Always.

    April 19, 2010 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. paolo

    Charlie, after your veto on the horrendous "teachers bill" prepared by the Florida republican lawmakers, all parents, all teachers and their families and friends are with you. Run and don't let those extremists intimidate you. Everybody I know will vote for you.

    April 19, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. John Quantico

    The more I see and hear about this man, the more I like him. Get out of the Republican Party Mr. Christ, you deserve better. It is a sinking ship.

    April 19, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Maggy519

    You know Republicans, many of us Dems really like Christ. But I guess you guys don't like to win elections. So be it.

    April 19, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Renee

    I hope he does run as an Independent. We need more choices not the same two parties, who keep screwing us. I say become an Independent. Give up those old tired Republican ways the same way they gave up on you, and Run, Run, Run.

    April 19, 2010 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Jason

    "Isn't it terrible how the RNC turns on people so quickly? It's either their way or the highway. If you dare cross them in any way, they want to be rid of you."

    Are you kidding me? Where were you Liberal Democrats when Lieberman was thrown under the bus by the Left? Where are you people now coming to the aid of moderate Democrats who are on Pelosi's S list who did not support the health care bill? RINOs need to be thrown out of the GOP just like the DNC threw DINOs under the bus. Liberals have taken over the Democrat party and Republicans need a Conservative counter response by throwing out the useless for the party. Yeah, that means you Lindsay Graham and John McCain.

    April 19, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Rick in Florida

    Crist has been a great governor for Florida. I will vote for him as an independent. Do not give up, Charlie!

    April 19, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. Maggy519

    Also..it is common wisdom among Dems that if Christ won the seat as an Independent, he would be the most powerful Senator on the hill. That might be attractive to Floridians.

    April 19, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  20. Obama the Liar

    these Democraps are so desperate to try to control their power that they now support a rino....lol... at the rats of the demorat party scurrie into their slime filled closets.

    April 19, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  21. Truth

    The GOP did not abandon Crist. Crist is just a bad loser and can't accept he is not the favorite of GOPers in FL.

    April 19, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  22. Jonny

    Because Crist does the correct thing, not what the Republican Party TELLS him to do, the way the tool Rubio does.

    April 19, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Eric

    The Repubs cheered Joe Lieberman on to victory when the same thing happened to the Democrats in Connecticut a few years ago. Now that it's happening in their own house, everyone is nervous. Sauce for the goose, my friend . . . sauce for the goose.

    April 19, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Todd

    Christ should run as an independant. he is he joe Liebermann of the republicons party. rubio is a nut case.

    April 19, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  25. JeremyW

    I am glad Crist is leaving. We need true conservatives running. Not moderates. Look what happened with the moderate republicans and dems under bush. completely ruined the country

    April 19, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
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