(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
What else would Cheney say?
Rubio would bring more polarized politics to Washington, and Crist represents a more middle ground. Is anyone surprised Cheney votes for more Republican partisanship? Looks to me like Cheney knows Crist could win.
The Kiss of Death!!!!
This is your call to action. Abandon the Republican party without remorse. They have totally abandoned you, and they did it a long time ago. They, not you, are the traitors. Run as an Independent, and you have a far better chance of winning. We need moderates in Florida, not extremists.
Dick calling someone else a unprincipled opportunist , really Cheney, now thats funny.
Darth Cheney needs to crawl back under the rock he came out of. He needs to be reminded that he is very unpopular and Americans have a very good memory. Americans haven't forgotten what happend from 2000 to 2008. The puppet master is no longer in charge!!
He should reject the endorsement. But if he accepts it, he should get *zero* votes!
Hey look a here!!! A crook endorsing another crook. Next thing maybe if we're lucky, Palin/Rubio 2012. I wonder what these losers talk about when they're together.
Thank you, thank you and thank you Dick Cheney. You have made my selection so much easier. We have seen your idea of governance and how you and Bush left this nation in complete shambles. If Rbuio shares your vision, he has no place in any position of power.
Actually what we need more in Washington are people who base decisions based on facts, logic, knowledge, compassion, and forward thinking.
Bush/Cheney/GOP ruled based on principles and convictions – and look at the end result.
Fascist Cheney just cannot conceal his anger and bitterness because GOP lost big in 2008. OH WELL.....
Darn, I thaught it was to announce he had some terminal illness and we were finally getting rid of him.
Just what I need to hear, more blubbering from Cheney. Any reasonable person with a sense of understanding would take this for what it is worth, NOTHING!
Oh no, the kiss of death for Rubio.
Oh Wow! I would not want Dick Chaney to be in my Corner. Shouldn’t he be under some jail by now? He is only the biggest crook in American History!
If Cheney is supporting Rubio's Senate campaign then we really don't want this guy in the US Senate.
Only in Florida could that be an endorsement someone wanted....
Who really cares who Cheney the draft dodger endorses?
Cheney is only concerned with lining his pockets with corporate and taxpayers cash and cares little for the country that allows him to rape and pilage taxpayers.
This endorsement to me is like box office poison. (I wouldn't want Cheney to endorse me if I was a candidate!) Although I know some of you see as a good thing for Rubio. After all, this is the state with the shady politics that hijacked the 2000 election.
With Cheneys' track record, I would be worried if I was Rubio.
Exactly, time to kick the liberals and RINO's out of DC and replace them with fiscal conservatives no matter which party they belong to. The Tea Party is supporting conservative candidates, not one political party.
Now that Cheney has endorsed Rubio, look for the polls to start moving in Crist's favor. Cheney is bad news. Remember how he sank McCains campaign?
For once I agree with Mr. Cheney –
Yes, elect more conservatives! This country needs more "chickens for checkups." Angry gun toters. Racial and social divides. More religious zealots. Wingnuts. Empty pockets. And intellectual dishonesty. Why don't we just down our togas and enter the colosseum. The GOP is so bankrupt and its ideas so lame and devoid of reason that all they can do is carp us into submission. Their backward thinking will seal our fate as the newest third world country by ensuring we lag BEHIND the rest of the world. They hope to lead the world by walking backwards, and hoping the the rest of the world will stop, turn around, and follow us!
Ho hum, more Republicans talking. Let me know when you find those WMDs and Osama bin Laden, fellas.
With friends like Dick Cheney, who needs enemies?