February 8th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Pence endorses Rubio

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/08/art.pence0208.gi.jpg caption="House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence is endorsing Marco Rubio, who is facing off against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the state's GOP senatorial primary."]
Washington (CNN) – Marco Rubio, a one-time long shot candidate in Florida's Republican senatorial primary, is getting a big boost from a GOP House leader.

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence is endorsing Rubio, the Florida Republican's campaign announced Monday.

"I am proud to endorse Marco Rubio for the United States Senate," the Indiana Republican said in a statement released by the Rubio campaign. "Marco Rubio's faith in free markets, limited government and traditional moral values make him the right choice for Republicans in this race."

Rubio is set to face off against Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who was once considered the favorite in this GOP primary. Rubio's candidacy, in part, has been fueled by conservatives including those who align themselves with the Tea Party movement.

A Quinnipiac University survey released late last month showed that Rubio, a former Florida House Speaker, led Crist 47 percent to 44 percent in a GOP primary match up. Rubio's 3-point advantage was within the poll's sampling error. But it still showed a major shift from last year, when Crist led Rubio by 15 points in October, 29 points in August, and 31 points in June, according to Quinnipiac surveys.

The poll indicated that Rubio tops Crist when it comes to trust, values, and conservative credentials.

Fundraising numbers released by both campaigns in late January showed Crist narrowly outraised Rubio in the prior three months. But Crist had a wide lead over Rubio when it came to campaign cash on hand.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2010 • Florida • Marco Rubio • Mike Pence
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. jules sand-perkins

    Free markets and limited government sound really good to me.
    Marco Rubio's moral values were also mentioned. I don't care about that: Mr. Rubio can do anything he wants to do as far as I'm concerned. That's none of my business, or anybody else's.

    February 8, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  2. ThinkAgain

    "Marco Rubio's faith in free markets, limited government and traditional moral values make him the right choice for Republicans in this race."

    In other words, he passed the GOP's "litmus test". Except he forgot to mention, "Willing to do anything – including taking our country down the toilet – to regain political power."

    That's part of the litmus test these days, too.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    February 8, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Pence? yawn...

    February 8, 2010 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |

    Crist = toast

    A valuable lesson for all of you RINOs and weak-spined moderates out there. Reagan lives on in spirit...

    February 8, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  5. A keen observer

    Sounds like the stupid endorsing the idiots to me. What do you think?

    February 8, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  6. gypsydaveywithablowtorch

    The end of the era of reasonable Republicans. The biggest threat to America is no longer from beyond our shores.

    February 8, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  7. Ryan

    Has anyone noticed that we aren't anywheres near election time but the GOP is parading around nominating each other at break-neck speeds every 5 minutes this past month?

    I swear we'll be hearing acceptance speeches from these disenfranchised Beauty Queens in the Senate before Friday!

    The fact that they all have the same 1960's haircut with a blow-out is my favourite feature in the GOP. Sorry but, I can't take you seriously if you're going to look like an Art Clokey character and spout about wasteful spending and big government....when all you do is spend money and pursue politics yourself.

    February 8, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |

    When CharLIE Crist supported Obama's stimulus package, that was the straw that broke the camels back for us Republicans! Crist is a RINO! Go Rubio!!!!!

    February 8, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  9. SC-Pub "no" more

    The case of a pathetic jerk endorsing another.

    February 8, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Minnesota gal

    And because he is Latino they think he will get the Spanish vote.

    February 8, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. Patricia Dickson

    when i look at John face oh my god he is feeling a lot of pain its show in his face he has hate all over his face the man is full of demons just look at at his face tell me what his heart is like oh boy its a shame.may God help us in these times.

    February 8, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  12. Marty, FL

    Rubio can no longer purport to be the so-called outsider (never actually was), as more of the GOP establishment gets entwined into his campaign.

    It is similar to Rubio hypocritically admitting recently he would have accepted the stimulus after his unbelievable criticisms of others for the same thing.

    February 8, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. Paul C.

    Rubio just lost my vote. The endorsement by these hacks makes my skin crawl.

    February 8, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Ron

    This guy smells of mob dealings and scandal Crist needs to run against him as a democrat since the republicans all turned on him cause thats there nature.Tea party is being used bigtime by the republicans to turn people against the democrats.But we are not all stupid.Stupids!

    February 8, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  15. Future expat

    One more reason to not vote for Rubio.

    February 8, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  16. enough already

    This is great. I can only hope the repubs try to go further to the right and drive out any moderates that have the nerve to call themselves republicans.

    Purity is the only answer. They must remain true to themselves. But that was clearly sacrificed in Mass. since they are so happy about

    prochoice Sen. Brown, who also believes in single payer health insurance.

    Please continue to drive out the moderates.

    February 8, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  17. johnrj08

    Pence is an idiot.

    February 8, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Independant from IA

    I believe that Marc Rubio will serve WE THE PEOPLE much better than
    Charlie Crist. He seems to have the most common sense. Good Luck to Marc Rubio

    February 8, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  19. annie against biased news

    Gone are the days of fence sitting republicans and with the upcoming elections the demmies will just be gone.

    February 8, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  20. Ndubueze Chuku

    Tea Party idiots. Sorry, u cannot win. Mark my words.

    February 8, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |