(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
First of all who cares who Chaney endorses? Chaney is now a has been and the only time to remember him is when you think of the unnecessary Iraq war. You think of Chaney when you start counting the number of innocent lives wasted in this very expensive war initiated by him and then President Bush.
What an endorsement! This coming from a major war criminal who should have been prosecuted and imprisoned.
In a sane world this would be a death-knell for any candidate. But not for Republicans who are perfectly happy with brushing off the long trail of sketchy behavior by Marco Rubio with respect to Republican Party credit cards (and even fine with overlooking Charlie Crist's . Seriously: WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY? WHERE IS THEIR MORAL COMPASS?!?!?!?!?!?
I mean that sit well with independent here in fl.lol
Well, if I was a Florida resident, I'd be calling Cheney a carpetbagger and voting for anyone other than Rubio.
Talk about being an opportunist Dick. You're riding in at the 11th hour when it appears that Crist is seriously wounded. Nothing like a person who makes up their mind once the game is nearly over.
If Cheney doesn't like someone, it's probably because they're a good American and a nice person.
Actually being endorsed by Dick Cheney is a NEGATIVE headline.
If the label says, "Cheney, Cheney, Cheney," then it's got to be "Evil, Evil, Evil" .... and incompetent, lying, corrupt and another epic failure from the GOP.
Pollsters measure what people want from their leaders. Cheney seems to be advocating an approach where our elected leader ignores the will of the people.
And Cheney can be trusted?
He had 8 years in charge, and wrecked the country.
He should be treated as Mussolini was by the Italians.
Duh! This is not news- it's just proving a point. Now that Rubio has accepted the "mark of the Beast"......will he find WMD's in Miami? These guys are pathetic.
The republican party continues to push out its moderates. Today it's almost impossible to be a moderate republican. And all we're left with is a conservative extremist group. In time reasonable republicans will leave the party.
Pretty much confirms Rubio's "dark side," doesn't it? If Darth Vadar himself supports him, he must be evil.
He calls Crist an "unprincipled opportunist who can't be trusted?"
Wow, talk about the proverbial pot calling the kettle black......
Oh glory be....I thought he was going to tell everyone he finally learned to be a member of the human race. Who in Hades cares who he endorses or unendorses. He only picks creeps like himself anyway. So hated by the world he has to take all the protection from the whole state to protect HIM while he is visiting.. Now that goes to show what the real members of the USA think of him. Course the 20 or so percent who kiss his butt would walk around with their head up there 24/7 if he would let them.
Who cares what this creep thinks he and Bush ruined this country and now he thinks he can dictate how to bring about change. If they had not ruined our economy we would not have needed any change. He needs to craw back under his rock with Bush and shut up.
Please, Gov Crist, don't run as anindependent. You made a huge mistake last year by embracing Obama. Accept that and get on with your life outside government.
I can assume then, that Marco Rubio is a crook, a thief, and a liar who dabbles in political favors for his cronies and might drum up a war, just for fun.
American Fellows, do not even pay any kind of heed at these idiots. They are the ones who messed this great nation. SOBs.....Put Dick Cheney in jail....permenantly...
Dick Cheney should be put on trial and convicted for treason.
He was part of the Nixon adminstration and still didn't learn a lesson from the abuse of power and how our Constitution works.
I almost thought he was finally going to announce he was Satan, Glenn Beck is the Antichrist and armageddon was upon us, but he's probably saving that for the 2012.
Who cares what Cheney the war criminal thinks. He should be in jail!!!
If you're going to be an ultra-conservative senatoral candidate from Florida....you need a clean, smooth back.
An independent run was good enough for Joe Lieberman. Why not Crist?
Another sign that the reublican party is moving further to the right. Lord help us if the republicans were to regain control of congress with all these right wing zealots in control. Do we really want more of Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich? I sure hope not.
That gives more reason to vote for Crist!