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. Richard L

    Charlie Crist is an open-minded person who tries to look at both sides of an issue. No wonder that Republicans won't vote for him.

    April 19, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. jbakaregit

    Crist, run as an independent. Either you or Kendrick Meeks the Dem needs to be in the Senate. Rubio is Jim DeMint's boy and will do the bidding of whatever he and C-street house want.

    And thank you for vetoing the education-kill bill and shoving it back in Jeb Bush's (who's still involved in Florida politics) face.

    April 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Becky

    Charlie...You have been doing the right things! They have turned their back on you....YOU NEED TO TURN YOUR BACK ON THEM SO YOU CAN CONTINUE TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT!!!!!!

    April 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  4. Jaybird

    Run as Indenpent Crist. I will support you.

    April 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. payback

    ........I'am not a birther. But where was rubio born? I want to see his birth cerificate. Why Florida, wants to elect a right-wing-nut. I have no clue. If it wasn't for Disney World and Cape Canaveral. I would, boycott the state of Florida. Too many, backward, thinking fools live there................................

    April 19, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. Future expat

    I've voted straight ticket Democrat since I turned 18. I've never voted for anyone whose name was not followed by a (D). If I saw a ballot before me that said

    Marco Rubio (R)
    Kendrick Meek (D)
    Charlie Crist (I)

    I would vote for Crist. For our two-party system to work, we need two parties working together and balancing each other out. We would not get that from either of the other two candidates.

    April 19, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Ethan

    I strongly encourage Dems, Indies and disaffected Republicans to read about the Democratic candidate for Senate in FL, Kendrick Meek.

    He is a great candidate and a stalwart supporter of the American Middle Class.

    April 19, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  8. JimG pa

    He'd be crazy not to run as an independent...If he does he's a shoein..

    As a Democrat I hope that nut Rubio does win because he'll get beat in the general..

    April 19, 2010 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Dano

    Marco Rubio and the Washington GOP are made for each other. Both are totally corrupt and only concerned with getting elected and cutting taxes for the wealthy. Being from Florida I hope Charlie Crist runs as an Independent because he's the best choice from either party. I don't always agree with him but he does surprise me from time to time by doing what's best for the State even if it hurts him in the polls.

    April 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Stephan

    Governor Crist –

    If you ever needed any proof of friends willing to throw you under the bus – this is it.

    You have proven yourself willing to stand up for the average Floridian – don't abandon us now. Run as an independent.

    April 19, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. economist

    ...and the Republicans fully abandon moderation, moving from center-right to just right wing.

    April 19, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. D. Bunker

    Keep running, Crist, even if it's as an independent. Anyone in the GOP who supports Rubio should be ashamed for supporting such a lying weasel. We need more moderate Republicans, not less!

    April 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Gil

    The party of No cannot be trusted to support their candidate with experience over a right wing nut case that sounds good, but is just going to be even more No, No, NO! The party only wants their agenda which is nothing, but being against everything.

    April 19, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. ScottC543

    There's no place in the GOP for anyone who says anything but NO.

    April 19, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  15. John F. Leech

    There's nothing like watching the GOP implode. The Test Baggers and Srah Palin are running the show. I couldn't be any more happy. Let's see Crist run as an independent, and WIN.

    April 19, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. Terry From West Texas

    As soon as Rubio was discovered to be mishandling RNC money and credit cards, the Republican voters of Florida figured he must be a good candidate for the Senate.

    I predict that the race will become dirty. Conservatives campaign by character assassination since they all believe exactly the same things. So the "character" issue is the only one they've got.

    All Crist needs to turn this around is to get some really good dirt on Rubio. Since Rubio is a Florida Republican, he cannot possibly be honest. There must be some dirt somewhere. Maybe he has a lescian niece or maybe he has a cousin in Cuba who's in the Castro government. Keep digging, Crist.

    April 19, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. JeffE

    The GOP is scared to death this guy will run and win as an Independent. He should not let the neocons running the republican party dissuade him from giving the people of Florida a choice.

    April 19, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. PacificView

    Same ole story, the RNC knows what the people really want. Why bother voting about it?

    April 19, 2010 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. Michael from Ventura

    I think it's a good thing that the gop eats their own.........Get hungrier!

    April 19, 2010 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |

    go ahead vote for this rat, rubio he has no core anything just like the rest you want to get in and see how much money is there at the end of the tunnel.

    April 19, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. wwd1214

    Crist will definitely win now. Rubio becomes the "establishment" candidate annointed by the corrupt RNC. Crist does a walk on as an independent. Tea Partiers keep it up and a few DEcorats will win as a result of the Republicans eating their own. People outside of the Fox bubble are much more moderate than the conservatives are led to believe.

    April 19, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. steve

    I hope Crist doesn't drop out he will be another PALIN a quitter.. but she isn't a quitter is she.. we don't know what she is.. wait let me look, its written on my hand.. oh there it is.. PALIN IS A CANCER......
    If Crist does leave the gop he should run as a indy......

    RON PAUL AND CRIST FOR 2012......

    April 19, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. blake

    Good bye Charlie. You ran us into the ground on taxes and property insurance. Where are the substantive reforms on these 2 critical issues...They are no where to be found. Education reform...our kids can barely read and write.

    So Charlie, go back to your trophy wife and make some room for a REAL REPUBLICAN!!

    April 19, 2010 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. Liberal and Proud in Boulder

    Sincere converts from the GOP to the Democratic Party are always welcome.

    April 19, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  25. Chris

    crist should go independant!!

    April 19, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
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