(CNN) – Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will not refund Senate campaign contributions made before he decided to forego the Republican primary and, instead, mount an independent bid, according to a Crist campaign adviser.
"The governor's position is people donated to a good cause and we intend to spend their money on a good cause," Michelle Todd, an adviser to the Crist campaign, told CNN Wednesday.
The Florida governor decided late last month to skip a Republican primary face-off against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio who had a more than 20-percentage-point lead over Crist in GOP primary polling. Crist is continuing his Senate run as a non-party-affiliated candidate.
A poll released last week showed Crist leading Rubio in a hypothetical three-way general election race between the two men and Rep. Kendrick Meek, the likely Democratic nominee.
Crist's decision not to issue refunds comes in the wake of several high-profile requests from members of the Republican establishment to return money given to Crist's campaign prior to his decision to bolt from the GOP primary.
Last week, a group of prominent Florida Republicans penned a letter to Crist seeking refunds of their personal donations and encouraging the governor to refund the donations of every GOP contributor who wants their money back. Anticipating Crist's announcement of his independent bid, the National Republican Senatorial Committee said it would seek a refund of its $10,000 donation to Crist's campaign and the Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy group, has also said it would lead an effort to help Crist donors seek refunds.
If I were Crist I wouldn't return the money. What good could come out of it for him? The folks who want their money back aren't going to vote for him anyway.
Another greedy, thin-skinned, whining finger-pointer is on the loose! Watch out Florida! :)
You do not want any part of the self destructing republican party.
They have totally lost their way and seem to not realize the American people want no party of their radical beliefs, actions and governing.
They keep up their discriminating philiosopy and there will be no one left, except for the hypocrits.
I have to agree with Gov Crist. Floridians supported the man and his ideas, not the Republican or Democratic or Independent Party.
He was thrown overboard by the Tea Partying wicked right, not by his supporters. He owes no money to anyone. He has not changed his ideals, principles, or platform-he is the same person he was a month ago, in other words, and that should be an end to any need to pay anything back at all.
Go Charlie!! You earned my vote when you left the party of NO!!!
Funny...I seem to be getting some sort of interference on my phone at work...I keep hearing this chant of "party before country" in the background....
Typical lying politician...Crist recently said on TV 5 times in one show he would not change his party affiliation...then he did. He accepted donations from folks who were told he would remain Republican...who can support such a dishonest man...regardless of party?
Or even better: PARTY BEFORE QUALITY. Isn't that really what we're talking about here? Branding? For a bunch of people who pretend to be so careful with their dollars, it would seem to me to be a BIG FAT ADMISSION THAT THEY'RE NOT if they weren't donating for the man, his positions, his policy, his beliefs, his qualifications, his QUALITY...but rather the BRAND NAME.
Good for you Charlie! Dont give back those contributions to those right wing fanatics of the Republican party. That party is the party of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson.
I live in Florida. Charlie Crist is toast.
It's money donated to YOU Charlie....use it and win.
TCM..... so even a neocon moron like you sees Crist as the winner. Amazing. BTW, the Senate is not part of the administration. Remember, those pesky separation of powers thingies?
Crist will run for president in 2012 or 2016. Possibly could replace Biden as VP candidate in 2012.
Rubio will not be the Hispanic Obama!
NPA will the biggest threat to the Democrat-Republican cartel
This sounds like a classic case of "bait and switch."
Call the local BBB and put Crist on their "do-not-do-business-with" list.
Good job!!!! tell the Republican Party you are not wal-mart no refund as it. My it Mr. Charlie Crist and the people donated money to me a good cause so I intend to spend their money on a good cause and mount an independent bid for the Senate. Hope you win
If he won't give the money back, then Charlie Crist is a thief as well as a liar. The people who donated money did so with the expectation of voting for Charlie Crist the Republican. Now that he's changed his stripes, that money should go back to the people who donated it and they can decide for themselves whether to give it back.
Cristfan – "Crist will run for president in 2012 or 2016. Possibly could replace Biden as VP candidate in 2012."
Are you on drugs? Crist has NO CHANCE of EVER being president. And replacing Biden as VP? Only if he's a Dumocrat, which I wouldn't put it past him to switch being the political opportunist that he is.
He needs to refund the donations because the party really needs the funds for their club visits. The Republican Party is eating it's own. They are driving the moderates out of the party and slitting their own throats. They deserve not to have the money. Crist will put it to better use.
I can't believe the GOP has the nerve to ask for refund. At least he's not partying with their money. is it "Indian giving"? Go Charlie Go! I admire you for doing the right thing.
Go Charlie Go!
I admire you for doing the right thing.
You are a good man.
The question is, would those people have donated to the current "good cause" if they had known the gov. was gonna drop out of their party and go out on his own with their money? Something about integrity. Can you spell "integrity" gov.? I presume the other side will say to keep the money. They think all others' money belongs to them anyway.
Don't give one red cent back..They donated to your campaign and that money should be used to help rid the State of Florida of Sketchey Characters like marco Rubio and the Republican Party... Where's Michael Steele when you really need Him?????
Good. I wouldn't give the money back either.