April 15th, 2010
09:35 AM ET
13 years ago

LeMieux avoids question on Crist's future

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/19/art.crist.0819.jpg caption ="Florida Sen. George LeMieux would not say Thursday whether he would support Crist's Senate bid if he decides to abandon the Republican primary and run as an independent."]Washington (CNN) - Florida Sen. George LeMieux, who was appointed to his seat last year by Gov. Charlie Crist, would not say Thursday whether he would support Crist's Senate bid if he decides to abandon the Republican primary and run as an independent.

A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday indicated that Crist trails his opponent for the GOP Senate nomination, Marco Rubio, by 23 points. But the same poll has Crist narrowly leading in a hypothetical three-way race against Rubio, the former Florida house speaker, and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, with Crist running as an independent.

LeMieux, a longtime adviser to the governor, said he had "no information" on whether Crist planned to quit the GOP primary. He dodged when asked if he would support Crist as an independent.

"He is a Republican, has always been a Republican," LeMieux said. "I expect him to run as a Republican."

LeMieux was speaking with reporters on a call organized by the Republican National Committee to question President Obama's plans for NASA and the future of American space travel. The president will outline his vision for the space program at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday.

Political watchers in Florida wondering about Crist's thinking are waiting to see if the governor vetoes an education bill favored by Republicans in the legislature and grassroots conservatives. If he does reject the bill either today or Friday, it could be a sign that the governor is positioning himself as a centrist and giving up in his race against Rubio, who has become a darling of conservative activists.

LeMieux, who has urged Crist to sign the education bill, said he did not think Crist's future in the GOP is tied to his decision on the legislation.

"I don't think that him running as a Republican and what he does on the education bill are linked," he said.

Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • George LeMieux
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. cspurgeon

    As a Govenor he acted Independent of the Republican party and was the reason I voted for him, He needs to break with them and run on the Independent ticket and I will vote for him again. Rubio will not be good for florida and he needs to consider that,,,,Cmon Charlie quit playing games and run on your real beliefs..the kind that caysedn to extend poll hours for the last election and accept bail out money for florida to save jobs. They were great decisions. Lets not go mush mouth now and spiel Republican crap...I don't like the far left or the far right. I want a centrist to speak for me ..You can be that person!

    April 15, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  2. Phil

    I hope he runs as a Democrat. He seems like a nice guy and he would probably win.

    April 15, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. haren

    Poor Crist, he should quit republican party and join democrats like Spector.
    Let Rubio win Florida primary he will loose in general election.

    April 15, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  4. Brink

    His political future aside, he should probably find a reliable sunscreen or a large hat.

    April 15, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  5. Dave

    Crist is done. The Republican party is swinging back to where it belongs: dominated by TRUE fiscal conservatives. That scares some people on the left because they scream about imposing morality. Whatever. That is not what MOST care about. Most care about:
    Less spending
    Less taxes
    Less government

    History shows, over and over and over again, that when America is run like that we thrive economically. It is why bush lost the house and the Senate; fiscal conservatives abandoned him and congress because they abandoned their principles and let power go to thier heads. it had nothing to do with Iraq. The left refuses to believe that. Fine, let them.

    Look at history, when republicans move to the right, they win.

    April 15, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Ben in Texas

    It seems pretty clear that only the right wing extremists in the Repugnant Party want Rubio. Many Democrats and independents would vote for Crist, even if he ran as an independent.

    The politically savvy thing for Crist to do is to run as an independent and let the Repugnants stew in it. They've thrown him over, anyway. Crist doesn't need the party, and the country doesn't need the likes of Rubio in any office.

    April 15, 2010 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  7. carlos

    CONServatives, the equivalent of rampant CORRUPTION

    April 15, 2010 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    I am no Republican, nor am I a hater of opponents. I feel sad for Charlie Crist who was a good governor to the state of Florida. The witch-hunters are out this year, if you are not conservative enough, whatever that means, you are going to be crucified! The GOP civil war continues, its ugly.

    April 15, 2010 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. sp

    Run as an independent Crist.

    April 15, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. HypocriCNN

    Hmm!...The Republicans Can't Honestly Be Trying To Question President Obama's Intentions On NASA Are They? It's Not As If The Republicans Have Actually Done Or Offered NASA Any Better.

    April 15, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  11. shucks

    Rubio has become a follower, not a leader. He has no revelational ideas. He is just embracing the right wing fanatics. The moderate republican is no longer welcome in their party. I find it amusing how easy this party attacks it's own when they have an idea that doesn't fit or conform to their conservative views. There is no such thing anymore as a moderate republican except in theory. Those that are have to feel abandoned and rebuked.

    April 15, 2010 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Aaron

    Crist should run as an independent if he doesn't get the Repub nomination. Governorship would appear to be the end of the road for him politically if he doesn't.

    April 15, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |