April 19th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
13 years ago

National Republicans preparing to back Rubio

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/19/art.crist0416d.gi.jpg caption ="The executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee urged key GOP consultants Monday to persuade Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to forgo an independent bid for Senate if he withdraws from the Republican primary, CNN has learned."]Washington (CNN) -– The top political strategist for Senate Republicans urged key GOP consultants Monday to persuade Florida Gov. Charlie Crist to forgo an independent bid for Senate if he withdraws from the Republican primary, CNN has learned.

Rob Jesmer, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, sent an e-mail to national political operatives just before noon in which he also predicted that Crist will decide not to compete in the GOP primary against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio.

“We believe there is zero chance Governor Crist continues running in the Republican primary,” Jesmer wrote in the e-mail provided to CNN by a Republican source on the condition of anonymity. “It [is] our view that if Governor Crist believes he cannot win a primary then the proper course of action is he drop out of the race and wait for another day.”

An NRSC spokesman declined to comment on the message.

Crist, the onetime frontrunner for the Republican Senate nomination, trails Rubio by double-digits in recent polls and must decide by the end of the month whether to run as an independent. The Florida primary is scheduled for August 24.

The NRSC has endorsed Crist in the GOP primary, but Jesmer emphasized in his note that the Senate Republican political arm is ready to stand behind Rubio’s candidacy.

Read the full e-mail after the jump:

From: Jesmer, Rob
Sent: Monday, April 19, 2010 11:35 AM
Subject: FL

Just a quick off the record assessment of where things stand in FL.

We believe there is zero chance Governor Crist continues running in the Republican primary. It our view that if Governor Crist believes he cannot win a primary then the proper course of action is he drop out of the race and wait for another day. We have communicated this message indirectly and would have given it to the Governor directly had he returned Senator Cornyn’s phone call.

Whether or not you supported our endorsement of Governor Crist, we all share the same goal of keeping the seat in Republican hands. To that end, if the Governor decides to run independent, regardless of any public commitments he makes regarding organization, we will support Marco Rubio in any way possible.

If any of you have influence with Governor Crist, we hope you will call his campaign and encourage him to do the right thing.

Thanks for your support of NRSC.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • Marco Rubio • NRSC
soundoff (195 Responses)
  1. Scott

    If the 10% of your party that become fascist idealogues who are disappointed that the Second Coming and Rapture didn't happen yesterday have somehow gained control over reason and common sense, what choice does anyone have but to leave the name "Republican" behind? Hard to believe these idiots who are laying the groundwork for a "states rights" campaign are the party of Lincoln.

    April 19, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  2. Pragmatic

    Well, the GOP won't have to corrupt Rubio – he's already corrupt! The ray sansom indictment over $35 million stolen in FL and spending republican donations on his own family ... doesn't seem to matter! GOP would vote for a bag of fresh manure if it was labeled "conservative" and it looks like they already have!

    April 19, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. mike

    I hope all of you said the same thing when the democraps cried foul when Lieberman decided to run as an independent. If not, you are a bunch of hypocrits.

    April 19, 2010 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Xavier from Miami

    Governor Christ,

    Run as an Independent and you will have six votes from my family who generally votes Democratic. We particularly like the MyFloridaHealthCare initiative your office worked on to get more Floridians insured. Thank You.

    April 19, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  5. CNN + Politics = Deception

    It's funny: does anyone know what this guy Rubio is all about? CNN and the other corporate media throw all these Tea Party candidates out there to test the waters, to see how receptive their message is. Little do they know that MANY of us are watching and keeping score.

    CNN and Fox should be careful. Some of the populace is beyond a doubt idiotic, but the networks are BANKING that most of them are. I'd like to show them otherwise. Let Wolf Blitzer know just exactly just what hair chemical he adds to cause his cancer 10 years down the road. If he doesn't know, tell him. Time for the populace to get up and let people know what time it is.

    April 19, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  6. Liberal4Obama

    I thought after the NY-23 debacle republicans promised to let WE THE PEOPLE choose the candidates for office in a primary instead of endorsing any one candidate prior to the election taking place... Even Mitch McConnell has come out against Charlie Crist.

    This is starting to look like a Conspiracy to rob floridians of the opportunity to elect the best candidate for the Senate, it's acts like this that diminish the peoples trust in government.

    April 19, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  7. Voice of reason

    If Crist goes to the US Senate as an Independent that will give Florida unprecedented power.... both parties will be courting his vote on every issue and the interests of Florida can be served without Crist having to serve the blind party loyalty that most legislators are slaves to today. GO CRIST! Moderation = common sense

    April 19, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  8. Kathleen

    If Crist doesn't "go along" will ALL of the ideas of the Republican Party, then he get's kicked aside in favor of Rubio, who spoke against Social Security and Medicare on the Today Show!!!! just recently. RUBIO don't like Medicare or Social Security!!!! Excuse me, but aren't there a lot of retirees that live in Florida. Christ should run as an independent! Our country was never designed to have a party run like a Communist Regime! The Republican tell them how to think! Is that respectable? really? Republicans love candidates who speak against Medicare and Social Security!

    Are not there a lot of tea partiers that depend on their Social Security
    and Medicare? They are fighting against themselves!!!!

    April 19, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. David

    So if you are not an extreme right wing freak the GOP is going to push you from even running in the primary,.

    April 19, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  10. Kathleen

    Floridians will be sorry when/if Rubio gets elected. Study him and learn what he has said in the last two months alone! People vote sometimes just because a man is handsome or looks good. Remember, Massachusetts.

    April 19, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. republicans hate america

    i voted for the democrat in the Govs race against Crist but will vote for Crist if he goes I.

    April 19, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. Tran In Miami

    First Ron Paul, now Charlie Crist, the Republican party I once known is vanishing.. it's a shame to be a Republican

    April 19, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. Dennis

    Come on over from the dark side Charlie. Come to where intelligent, rational people live.

    April 19, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  14. Burt

    Crist should do what he feels is necessary to take care of the people in Florida and not worry about party affiliation. On another note, I'd be interested to know what type of auto's the Tea Party members are driving? It would be a safe bet the majority are not american made.

    April 19, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  15. Save 'em in the womb, so a "christian" holy war can send 'em to the tomb

    Yep, looks like Rubio the rube went to Okeefeenoke Camp run by DeMentia up in South Carolina and now he knows how to "squeal like a pig" when prodded, in a manner of speaking.

    April 19, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. pam

    I will support Charlie Crist as an independent. THE RNC are just thugs...simply thugs. Using strategies as a political ploy is one thing, but the ONLY reason that they are turning on Crist is he took the stimulus money to help the citizens of Florida! They found a token man of color to get the hispanic votes! The same reason they chose Michael Steele to counteract the Obama administration...See how that turned out.

    April 19, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  17. Karene Nagel

    I wished that I lived in Florida, so I could back & even possibly vote for Crist. I think that this Rubio guy is a joke. No small wonder that Romney thinks Palin is fit to be President – so of course Rubio is fit to be Senator for Florida?!?! All I needed to hear (and I hope all 'smart' Floridans have heard!) is Rubio's lame attempt to cover Romney's Behind about how Romney Care is ANY different from Obama Care!!! What a ridiculous joke...if you are smart and conservative and Republican or Independent (possibly even Democrat) – surely you would vote for Crist over this 'Romney Rubio' cardboard cut-out!

    April 19, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  18. Lee Bartholomew

    Would be good reason for Crist to become Independent. If Lieberman can do it Crist can. Kinda ironic there's so many on the right are racist. Yet they go for Rubio. Reminds me of what the RNC frantically did with Michael Steele.

    April 19, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  19. NVa Native

    Crist is better than the current Repub elitists who control the party. No matter what he should leave the shrinking tent of anti-American wackos.

    April 19, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. SC-Pub No More

    Why should he stay with a party that abandoned him for an unknown tea-nut? I don't blame him. They undermined him; so he wants to be a senator... why not go independent?

    April 19, 2010 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
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