(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
Someone remind me again why he's still considered relevant?!
"Washington is broken" says Cheney. Uhuh. And you guys broke it. Now Obama is trying to repair it. You ruined the economy (fighting two wars with tax breaks–now the bill comes due); allowed Al Qaeda to escape in Afghanistan while you went after an impotent Iraq; let business run amok (remember ENRON?) etc etc. Thanks for the memories...now go away.
Please go away Mr. Cheney. You've done quite enough damage to our country.
Cheny's endorsement is the kiss of death. My folks who live in Florida and are Republicans will now vote for and contribute to the Democrat unless Crist Runs on the independent ticket. I think the NRC needs to just change thier party name to RWRC ( Right Wing Radical Conservatives) and let the real Republicans go on as the true republican party. Maybe all the reasonable moderate republicans should become democrats like my friend Arlene Spector who did the right thing and joined the Democrats when he saw that the right wing radicals were taking over my party. I'm voting for the Democrat in PA. I have no choice since the Republicans are trying to Run a guy who endorsed Mafia gambling connections.
Who is this Rubio? How to he get so much support so quickly from the republican top elephants. I need to read up more about him as it just seems kind of odd.
Rubio getting Cheney's endorsement means one thing only, Rubio will continue the Bush/Cheney policies. Wakeup Florida, you're being played for stupid because Rubio is a wolf in sheeps clothing. Show Cheney/Bush they don' control your State by voting NO to Rubio.
Thanks Dick, now i will certainly encourage Gov Crist to run for the senate.
Dumb & Dumber....what a couple of bufoons
Darn, you had so much momentum going and then Cheney endorsed you. Tough break kid.
And Voldemort's endorsement is intended to be a plus?
....hmmm. I was hoping the big announcement was he was leaving the US or something. If he supports Rubio, better vote for Crist!
Uh – oh, the kiss of death!!! Not a good week for Rubio – first he's accused of misusing his AMEX card, now he's being endorsed by Dick Cheney.
And this is suppose to help Rubin how ?
What we need are Senators who will work WITH other members of Congress and the President...not rubber stampers like President Bush had, but people who are willing to listen, collaborate and work on two-way communication for the betterment of the country, NOT those who are strictly following some few opinion-makers' talking points!
Well guess what Mr. Cheney, we voted in President Obama and Senator Reid and we want them so be successful. That's what you do in America.
"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"
Cheney is calling other people unprincipled, opportunist, who can't be trusted?!
Hey kettle, your black
It's broken because you and your cronies broke it.
A Cheney Endorsement may be the kiss of death in Florida.
Crist should be his own man, and a man for the people not political parties, he should run as Independent
Any candidate receiving an endorsement from Cheney would never receive my vote.
Wow, way to jump on the bandwagon there, Dick. He would have been backing Crist if he was ahead in polls. This guy should be in jail anyway. He's not a real conservative but a neo-con.
How is this news? One scum bag endorses another scum bag
Dick Cheney not only looks evil, he's full of crap. And how does he think he and "Dumbya" did in their 8 years of teeror. He wouldn't know "strength of conviction" if it bit him in the face. Thank you, Dick, for leading our country into war, misleading and stealing from the citizens/taxpayers and being a hypocrite to all. I was hoping once the new administration came in, he would just go hunting, permanently (probably having a tough time finding a hunting buddy)
Please go away former Vice President Dick Cheney. Have you not done enough damage?
anything that cheney supports is suspect.