April 19th, 2010
04:30 PM ET
12 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. GI Joe

    Rubio went to SC and got purified by the "DEMENT"ed crowd.

    That means a sheet, hood, and instructions on cross-burnings in his hispanic neighbors' yards – along with black folks' yards.


    April 19, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  2. Laverne

    Since the cut throat republicans are trying to force Crist out, he should drop his bid and endorse the Democratic candidate and take all the moderates along with him. The republicans want their cake and eat it too. I hope Crist is not stupid enough to give them what they want!

    April 19, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. sp

    The right thing for Crist to do is run in the campaign and give Floridians another option. The Republicans should be ashamed that they are trying to do this. Let the Floridians decide who they think is best!!

    April 19, 2010 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  4. Texas Doc

    Do it Charlie, you could win as an Independent. Screw the GOP. All they do is say No and they are doomed to permanent minority status. Make your voice heard.

    April 19, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. Jim In Miami

    Governor Crist – I am a lifelong republican – I will support you if you run as as independent – I am tired of voting for fascist Cubans who do nothing for us (retired, white) – after they are elected...

    April 19, 2010 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Brendan

    I hope Crist runs as an independent and caucuses with the Republicans. The GOP desperately need an anchor to hold them to the middle. Rubio is a profoundly flawed, though charismatic candidate. Though it would be nice to see a person of color among the lily white GOP.

    I wonder if the GOP wants to run Crist against Bill Nelson in '12.

    April 19, 2010 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. blaytham1

    Yup way to let the people decide GOP..... again not letting the people be heard.

    April 19, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. Chuck

    Governor Crist, a moderate conservative Republican, must now run as an independent and put an end to the exteme right candidate Rubio of ever becoming a U.S. Senator. Rubio has shown himself to be less than trustworthy with his party money and has already mastered the art of saying NO to anything and everything that the majority party introduces. We need more compromisers and non-partisanship in Congress.

    April 19, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Keep giving them the finger Crist because your "so-called Republican brotherhood" are telling you it's their way or the highway. Take the "highroad" Crist, there are more ways to skin a cat, become an Independent and laugh all the way.

    April 19, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. RTB

    Crist is an excellent candidate for Senator from Florida. It would be wise if he were to run as an independent.

    The misguided Floridian Republicans who are backing "Rubio the snake" don't seem to know a good man when they have one.

    It will be great for the state of Florida and this country when Crist is elected Senator from Florida.

    April 19, 2010 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm not a republican, but I support Crist over Rubio. Mr. Rubio needs to give a valid explanation of his misuse of a republican credit card. This is becoming a growing trend in the republican party starting from the very top. I don't see how in any case that using donor money for personal expenditures is acceptable.

    April 19, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. jon,philadelphia

    republicans eating their own. Ya gotta love it!

    April 19, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  13. Glenn Beckerhead

    Anyone check to see if Rubio is even a citizen of the US and not a Cuban sleeper agent?

    April 19, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. Glenn Beckerhead

    Rob Jessmer, yer qa misguided fool. Backing some ultra right wingnut will doom the RePubeLickins forever. Go for it!

    April 19, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  15. IVOTE

    In my opinion, the states are undergoing an invasion of outsiders who pour money into the campaign of the candidate who best fits the program of the invaders in an attempt to control the vote in these states. States should recognize this and rebel.

    April 19, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  16. Joe

    Run, Charlie, Run! Lieberman did it, and so can you! We need more Independents in Congress.

    April 19, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  17. Wayne

    If Charlie bows out before any votes are cast, then he is a bigger wimp that I thought he was. What kind of politician gets out before the primary? What kind of man would win an election and then run away as soon as the going gets tough? (hmmm, Nixon, Palin, Locke, ect., REPUBLICAN's!) They all quit so that they can point fingers and cry foul later.

    Keep fighting Charlie! Don't give up! It ain't over until it's over. You never know what will be brought out about Rubio before November.

    April 19, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Josh

    Gov. Crist tell the republican party to go to hell. They used you when they needed you and now they want to kick you out of the party because you are a moderate thinker. I'm from Florida and I never had anything bad to say about you because I saw that you did things that was good for all Floridians. Go Indipendent and tell those back stabbers to go straight to hell where they belong.

    April 19, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. steve

    I have been a republican for 45 years, but no more. The republican party has proven over and over that there main agenda is to upend Obama at the expense of the American people. The Republican party appears to now be the party of the wealthy and the uneducated. The long range health of our country is well down their list of priorities. So sad.

    April 19, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. GI Joe

    Hey – what do I care – it will be easier for the Dem to beat Rubio in November.


    April 19, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Independent One

    Crist Please run as an independent....As an independent you don't have to be in "lock in step" with every decision made by the repub PARTY you can actually vote your conscious

    April 19, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. phil

    He's a crook!

    April 19, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It is absolutely shameful how the RethugliKKKlans are squeezing Crist out. They rather support a candidate that is willing to stick his greedy little hands into the cookie jar like Rubio. Thieves don't like people who aren't criminals like they are. They feel safer around you if they can sink you like you cna sink them.

    Rubio has passed the {R} initiation rite of proving himself capable of unethical expenses, leaking of information, nepotism, and lying while smiling in your face. This youngblood is willing to play dirty ball with the best of them. Welcome to the jungle.

    April 19, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Layla

    This could all have been avoided if the NRSC had not trotted right down to Florida to endorse a candidate before the primary was over.

    Message to the party and it's major donors: We don't want you deciding who our candidates are going to be. We will decide for ourselves.

    The NRSC has been just about most of the support Charlie Crist had. The rest of the Republicans in the state have been supporting Rubio.

    April 19, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Obama the Liar

    Crist, give up your con game. Everyone knows you are a liberal and THE obama's best friend.

    April 19, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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