(CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney became the latest prominent Republican to line up behind Marco Rubio's Senate campaign in Florida, issuing a strongly-wording statement Thursday casting Rubio's GOP primary rival, Gov. Charlie Crist, as an unprincipled opportunist who can't be "trusted" to stand up to President Obama.
"Washington is broken and Congress is already overflowing with politicians who need pollsters to tell them what to think," Cheney said of Crist. "It certainly doesn't need another one. Now more than ever America needs leaders with the strength of conviction."
Cheney called Rubio "a strong conservative leader." He urged Crist to either remain in the Republican primary, which he would almost certainly lose, or drop out of the race completely.
"The only winners from an independent bid by Crist would be Barack Obama and Harry Reid," Cheney said of the president and Senate Democratic Leader from Nevada.
Along with being an outspoken critic of Obama, Cheney hasn't shied away from picking sides in contested Republican primaries. His record so far in 2010, however, is a losing one. Last November, Cheney endorsed Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in her ultimately unsuccessful primary fight for the Texas gubernatorial nomination. She was soundly defeated by Gov. Rick Perry.
In March, he endorsed Secretary of State Trey Grayson over Rand Paul in Kentucky's GOP Senate primary, scheduled for May 18.
The endorsement could nab Rubio some positive headlines after it was reported Tuesday that the former House speaker and other Florida GOP players are being investigated by the IRS over their use of state party-issued credit cards.
UPDATE 1:10 p.m.: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist reacted to the Cheney endorsement on Thursday, downplaying the effect it will have on the primary race.
"Just another Washington politician telling Florida what to do," Crist said. "I don't think Floridians appreciate it."
And when asked by local reporters if he was upset by the endorsement, Crist retorted, "Do I look upset?"
- CNN's Charles Riley contributed to this report
Wow, Rubio is now blood brothers with a murderer and war monger and that flip flopper presidential candidate. Birds of a feather flock together.
Everytime this idiot opens his mouth, it is a constant reminder of how rotten his soul is and how destructive he can be. God, I hope Crist run as an independent.
If big Dick Cheney likes him you would be better off voting for Crist
I would say that is the " kiss of death ". A good reason not to vote for this man.
Enough of Cheney. Go sit down somewhere and be quite.
Obviously he hasn't read the latest news about the investigation into Rubio's underhanded financial dealings.
Who cares what Count Dracula thinks.
Is an endorsement from Sauron special or what. Bald faced lying to the American public to start a war, bringing back torture, the administration that brought about finical collapse. I don't think I would want that type of endorsement and wonder about the type of person who would.
That ought to seal the deal for Charlie. We don't need extremists telling our voters who to for or we can vote for. Thinks Dick, now go hunting and shoot one of your closest friends.
why any free thinking american would consider ANYTHING dick cheney says as relevant, honest, unbiased, or salient is beyond me.
thank god this power mad relic has been sent back to wyoming
where his vitriol lands on very few ears...NEXT!
And we give a crap, why?
All these "prominent Republcinas" better hope the FBI, IRS and U.S. attorney's office investigatiosn of Rubio don't result in charges.
yada, yada, can he vote for the man these endorsments are not all you make them out to be, does anybody still hear Cheney
"The only winners from an independent bid by Crist would be Barack Obama and Harry Reid," Cheney said.
Sounds good to me! GO CHARLIE!!!
Cheney....anyone who thinks knows better than to believe a word you say......you blew it, Dick.....now go away, be quite,and polish your guns.
Yes, Dick, Washington was in such great shape when you left, and now, in a little over a year in office, Obama and the democrats broke it. You are such a saint and such a positive human being.
Gee, "an unprincipled opportunist who can't be trusted". I see that Cheney is once again stealing lines from his autobiography.
Now that Chaney has endorsed him any real american will vote against him. do we want a another Congressman who lead us to a unnessary War and a recession. and make ANOTHER 9/11 all things Chaney accomplished
If anyone knows 'unprincipled' it's Cheney.
Talk about kicking a friend while their down...that guy don't stand a chance getting elected now lol.
As if we forgot 8 years ago. Chenney endorsement was rejected during the last presidential election and now GOP are celebrating his endorsement. It is nice to know we are going after another war in Iran. I for one is tired of war.
Dicks right! We need stand up to everyone else who thinks we are wrong and go shove a little democracy down their throats, kind of like Iraq......by the way Dick hows our little middle eastern science project going?
I was hoping the announcement was that he only had a few days to live. SIGH! He should enjoy the afterlife in hell with people like Jesse Helms and Hitler!
Well, that'll be the nail in the coffin for Rubio's campaign.
Still trying to push America over the cliff, Dick?