(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
And we care what Dick Cheney thinks because...WHY? Can't we let the old loons die off? We have enough of the new ones coming on board...e.g. Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin.
CNN headline: "Cheney has big announcement!" I click the link and find.... that he's endorsed Marco Rubio. I was expecting that he'd reveal himself to be Satan or that he shot someone else in the face or something. Major letdown, not to mention false advertising. >yawn<
Can A War Criminal Endorse anyone? It's a KISS OF DEATH for Rubio.
Who cares ! That's no news. The media will report anything now days. We need Media ethics reform. Only report something that people are interested in , and stop making up news. The media is the one of the main reason why people are acting the way their are. Why because they know the media will cover them no matter what.
This can't be a good sign for Rubio's chances, can it?
And this is a good thing for Rubio? Why, in God's name, would anyone say "I'm voting for Rubio 'cause Cheney thinks he's Ok". Huh? Maybe it's just me, but isn't this the kiss of death? Well, it should be. Just goes to show you how twisted the tea party gang really is, doesn't it?
The devil himself endorsing a candidate. That you certainaly make me vote for him. Wonder how thrilled Mr. Rubio is?
gee imagine that... one crook endorsing another GOP crook
of course he did..he'd endorse Strom Thurmond if the old coot was still alive
A neocon neanderthal backing a neocon neaderthal...surprise, surprise.
And here I thought the big announcement was going to be Cheney pulling off a latex mask and announcing the reptilian invasion of Earth, no more Mr. Nice Guy, all hail his infernal majesty, humans for breakfast every morning, etc.
That alone would make me not vote for Rubio! Oh, wait, I I'm a democrat. Still I do cross over occasionally and I did vote for Governor Crist.
I've heard the guy is a crook and it makes sense now that cheney endorses him. If cheney is supporting something we know that it is bad.
Yeah? And? Why is this even mentioned? Who cares?
if I was Rubio I'd say thanks but you did me no favors
this man is evil
This is considered big announcement?!!! What a surprise.
Well, that about locks it up for the Crist.
Well, does that tell you everything you need to know, Florida? Marco Rubio has been endorsed by every wingnut in the Senate, and now he has the backing of a war criminal and corporate terrorist.
I don't think there's any doubt now about Rubio's position as a shill for corporate interests. If you want to go back to the Bush era, Rubio's your man.
So there you have it. Did we think otherwise. Christ, a moderate (if he is in fact a moderate) thrown out the door in favor of extremism.
When President Bush was reelected in 2004 there were people who wondered how over half of the electorate could be so stupid. Is the electorate going to be so stupid again in 2010 where it goes right back to this extremist form of government that got us into all this trouble? If we collectively are this stupid, then we deserve what we get. We have such short memories and so little patience. I want it and I want it NOW is the attitude we stupid Americans live by.
Well, if Darth Vader wants him, looks like its all over for Crist. Might as well join the Rebel Alliance.
Cheny never learned from the last years he served and now he and the leadership are advicating and supporting extreme right wings...welcome to the United States of Tyrany
Another nut jumping on the band wagon.
Congratulations Gov. Crist. A great News for you. Cheney's endorsement of Rubio will turn off a lot of middle republican voters and fence-sitting democrats. You will definitely win your Independent bid.
Anything endorsed by the "Darth Sidious" can't be good. "
Mr. Rubio must be a real creep.
from one CORRUPT to another CORRUPT........repulsive repugnants support corruption at all levels and cheating and use of others money and so on and so on, oh and stealing as in Halliburton..........marquito is going to loose now with the kiss of death from dickey