(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
This tells voters something about Rubio. Who really wants a Chaney endorsement – Palin in Alaska. This should really help Christ!
Now there's a ringing endorsement! LOL
The Repub leaders are showing once again that they cannot control Cheney and his big, right-wing extremist mouth. Someone please shove a sock in it!
Cheney is an idiot.
In a normal world this should be a death-blow to Rubio's candidacy.
But there are so many deluded rightwingers with their panties bunched up out there, living in the fantasy world spun by FuxNews daily, you know - the world where Bush&Cheney did NO wrong, the one where Bush says he would have done nothing differently, because he made no mistakes in doing exactly what Cheney told him to do. The toothless hayseeds who fall for this rightwing drivel will flock to Rubio.
a war criminal endorses a liar, can't get any better. how the right wing raciats loves to flock together.
darn it i was hoping it was terminal and painful cancer or something.
Wow it is nice to know that America has not forgotten what GW Bush/Chaney did to America! This guy is such a cliche'. He even looks like the Devil! He is so gross and EXACTLY what America NEVER needs again. I don't know about you but another 4 more years of a Bush/Chaney approach and I'll be in the poor house.
For those of you who aren't Floridians, Marco Rubio was the "Golden Child" of Jeb Bush. This endorsement comes as no surprise. I am not thrilled with Charlie Crist, but out of the two...I will vote for Kendrick Meek!
I was hoping he was going to announce he's replaced his heart with a Central Processing Unit and his brain with a slice of salami.
That would 'seal the deal' for me - I'd be voting for whomever Dick Cheney was NOT endorsing!
Cheney thinks he should tell people who to vote for? This is a joke...right? Cheney and the other members of the Three Stooges, Georgie and Rumsfeld should be in jail somewhere...I hear Gitmo is nice this time of year. Cheney thinks he should endorse someone? To do what? Have a cigarette Dick, take a deep, deep breath. Stay away from Washington DC and things related to government. They are still cleaning up the mess you made when you were there. Oh and keep the robot daughter at home too. Check on your Haliburton stock, take time out and experience being waterboarded. Need some reading material? Try reading The United States Constitution for the first time it will seem like science fiction to you.
It's a good thing most of you don't live in Florida and you all still sound the same....koolaid drinkers and still believing all the lies on MSNBC liberal media. Thank God for the rest of us that know better.
hopefully the Dicks endorsement will be the kiss of death for rubio. rubio is a crook.
Well I thought Rubio was a little reptilian. An endorsement from the Lizard King just proves it.
I thought that our Elected Officials were supposed to listen to us and do what we wanted instead of ignoring what the population wants. This is just one reason why i am a Democrat. The hard line Republicans like Cheney need to all be voted out of office.
So the oil rig sunk, eleven missing, 8000 barrels a day into the ocean.
All on Earth Day.
So, Palin fans, How's that "drill baby drill" working for ya?
Who really cares what Dick Cheney has to say.
Cheney recognizes a kindred soul in Rubio. They recognize their own by their corrupt stench
Well, if one needed a reason to vote for Crist, Cheney's endorsement of Rubio is a good one.
OK, the guy is good because he will stand-up (reads:, block, just say no, destroy, name call, etc.). Is this what the Republicans mean by bi-partisan congress???
thick as thieves!
Cheney and his republicican cronies in control during the 8 years of Bush almost ran this country into the ground. They expanded government, changed a huge surplus into a massive debt so Cheney has no credibilty.
Great. Another hate weasel in DC. Just what we need. Here I thought Cheney's announcement was going to be that he was gay.
Uh oh, Cheney emerged from his hole and saw his shadow. That means six more weeks of nuclear winter.