(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
Poor Rubio – that will be the Kiss of Death
and who in the sam hill is Cheney to call anyone an unprincipled opportunist – it is not always about standing up to someone – there are times when it is about working together for a common goal.
Personally I wish all Republicans would go away except for Gen Powell.
Now more than ever America needs leaders with the strength of conviction."
I wonder why Cheney hasn't gone out on the limb to endorse the republican chicken lady candidate running against Reid yet?
She seems to be a strong conservative leader with strength of conviction as well.
I would be afraid to vote for someone that Cheney endorsed.
bye-bye Rubio. With Failin Palin and Darth Vadar behind you the nomination may be winnable but the general election? Not a chance in you know where
Cheney is the last person that needs to be critical of our President and Congress the way he and George screwed the United States and the world with Enron, war in Iraq and the way they took our economy down and did the uncontrolled bail outs.
My fellow Floridians if Dick Cheney endorse this man, this guy must be evil and a liar. I will help get as many democrats to the polls and vote against these evil republicans. I know that we have people in our state who will not put up with these republicans backed by the big corporations and wall street thieves to buy their way in office. They may have the money but we have the votes, the thing that counts in elections.
And this is supposed to get sane people to vote for Rubio???
Geeeeez - get out of the sun, floridians.
We don't need the hate and fear and war-mongering.
Isn't that special?!
Why is W.C. Cheney worried about Christ launching an independent bid? Same old Cheney: the public doesn't matter. Doesn't matter that Christ would win more votes, doesn't matter if Rubio can only pull a third of the population at best, doesn't matter that having a right-wing idealogue in the Senate actually decreases Republican Power. He's all about the principle. Thanks Dick !
DARN! I thought he was going to announce he volunteered to take a solo flight to the moon!!!!
Today, Dick Cheney has announced that he is, indeed, a vampire.
This Dinosaur's edorsement is the kiss of death. Republican, Democrat, Independent or whatever are career politicians who are all equally useless in the eyes of working class Americans.
When a working class blue collar worker runs for office then maybe we'll start getting something done. Our house and Senate are full of these silver spoon lawyers, draft dodgers and sexual wierdos. Wake up America before it's too late!
I bet they are just fighting for Cheney indorsements.
How does having all these corporate owned "borrow and spend" republicans.. the same republicans that sunk us 6 trillion in debt and said deficit spending does not matter help Rubio? Rubio is clearly not a real conservative. he is just another big spender who uses other peoples credit cards. What's wrong with the republicans? Same as it ever was. They have learned nothing.
Gee that's impressive "mister Enron" this is not a suprise. A band of thieves have a way of sticking together.
It's strange how during his term as vice president wall street ran amuck worst than normal. Using alot of the same corrupt practices as the Enron execs used all these "creative" accounting practices. That leave the american public holding the bag, just like Eron employees were left holding a empty bag sound alot like the (housing mess) I'm sure there's no connection.
My monies on Rubio crashing and burning!!! Lets see how deep this runs. Will reporter stay on top of this. Or are these corrupt practices so common place that know one will really care??
Oooooh sugar, that is really big!
Thanks Cheney that takes care of Rubio. With your blessings he is a total loser. Good bye :)
Get back in your hole, you rat!
You know you're somebody when the lord of darkness steps out of the shadows and endorses you. Not an endorsement to be proud of, to be sure. Hopefully, Cheney won't get any blood on Rubio if he shakes his hand.
Thanks for the heads up: I will NOT vote for Rubio now that Cheney backed him.
Who cares what Cheney thinks or does.
I thought he was going to say that he was going to surrender himself at the Hague for a war crime trial. Maybe next time.
WOW Rubio, you got the "Kiss of Death" from former NY Mayor Rudy "Noun a Verb and 9-11" G. Then you get it from "Half Gov. Palin" and then "Demented Demint" and now you get the "GRAVE LOWERING KISS from Dick "Darth Vader" Cheney.
I'm a Democrat and I am feeling for you. Republicans are heaping all the weight on you they can find. Maybe you should conider becoming an Independent.
Why do we still care what this crook (who has been allowed to roam free) still has to say?
Hehe I thought the credit card thing were bad,congrat Rubio that we'l great with independent in our state.LOL