(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.
Wow...could the GOP be more petty?
I would keep the money too, the GOP would not refund you the money that you spent out of pocket to try and elect who they want, SO KEEP THE MONEY
Go Charlie!! Tell those thugs in the republicant party to stuff it!
HAHAHAHA...funniest thing I've read all day. Queue GOPer tantrums...
I wish I could ask for a refund for every dinner, theater ticket and other items I purchased for past girlfriends that eventually dumped me. I could probably pay off the nationsl debt...!
Crist is a self-centered egotistical clown...he'll fit in well with the Obama administration...as for 'Floridians, the only ones that like him are the entitlement leeches..
Good for Charlie,
The republican party is slitting it's own throat and continues to do so. The majority of Americans (the quiet majority) do not want these thugs in office.
Well, Crist does show that he lacks enough ethics to be a successful member of today's Congress, you have to give him that.
Good for Crist. The GOP has no problem dumping anyone from their ranks who hasn't signed their declaration of values contract to goose-step to their leaders whim.
It was bribe money. Just like gambling at Vegas, you lost your bet; you don't get your money back.
I hope the quiet majority gets out and votes this fall so the thugs don't get elected...
What a parasite. I'd want my money back, too......
I believe they gave the money to the Candidate Crist, not the party so if they liked him then but don't like him now, to bad.
Way to go – funds given to back person for country - NOT PARTY.
Repubs are Party before Country – unpatriotic.
He should keep the money. Wasn't the money donated to the candidate? He's still the candidate, isn't he?
Republicans are such sore losers.
Crist acting like a closet democrat for sure.
Democrats love and support Crist for making the right decision again. What idiot would give back the money especially before the elections, if he gives it back make sure it's after the election and there are legal documents that support the return of funds.
Keep the money Charlie. Sounds like the GOP is a bunch of cry babies. They threw Christ under the bus so who cares what they want. I will support Charlie now that he isn't a Republican. He is what we need in Washington. Someone who will represent the best interest of the people of Florida and what we want instead of voting down strict party lines. We don't need anymore Republicans in Washington representing the wealthy and big business. We need someone who can work across the isle and get something done.
Why should he give the money back his party deserted him for this newcomer that is hardly known.
If the donations went to the person and not the party then no refund is warranted. The only way if the person or organization is requesting the the money be directed to the Republican who is running in this case Rubio then no refund.
Ha.. I would love to see Charlie beat Rubio... it would just be a beautiful slap in the face to the GOPunks! Every time I hear "Country First" It makes me laugh... sure doesn't look like it! Looks more like "Republican First" everyone else SECOND!
Crist acting like a closet democrat for sure.
Yahoo! You go Crist! If I was a Florida voter, you'd get my vote, Charlie!
Crist reminds me of school at midnight – no class!!
Crist was given money for his work and for the belief Floridians had in him. He should not return any money.
However since Republicans are in a "refund" mode – can we get back their salaries and cost of medical benefits since none of them did one single thing for the People who elected them? They got plenty of money from their corporate buddies so give us back the taxpayer money they wasted not serving the People but betraying us.
Way to go!!...I'm sure that some of the Republican donors who "secretely" still endorse him prefer it that way.