April 20th, 2010
01:27 PM ET
13 years ago

A top House Republican to endorse Rubio

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/29/art.cantor0328.gi.jpg caption ="House Minority Whip Eric Cantor will endorse Marco Rubio for Senate in Florida on Tuesday."]Washington (CNN) - House Minority Whip Eric Cantor Tuesday will endorse Marco Rubio for Senate, the latest high profile Republican to do so in recent days, two GOP sources familiar with the announcement confirm to CNN.

The endorsement comes as many national Republicans believe that the one-time front runner for the Republican Senate nomination in Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist, will run an independent bid for the open seat. Recent polling indicates that Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker, leads Crist in the GOP primary by double digits.

"We are a nation at a crossroads, and we need responsible leadership in Washington," Cantor is expected to say in his endorsement. "Marco Rubio is just the type of leader our country needs and will make an excellent Senator for the State of Florida."

On Monday, the chief strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee told GOP allies it is his belief that Crist will leave the GOP primary. The NRSC had endorsed Crist, but was prepared to shift its backing to Rubio.

Cantor, a congressmen from Virginia, is considered to be a rising star in the party. His endorsement is another sign that the Republican establishment is embracing Rubio's candidacy, which has been fueled in the past year by conservative, grass roots activists.

Filed under: 2010 • Eric Cantor • Florida • Marco Rubio
soundoff (218 Responses)
  1. joel palmer

    The circular firng squad ratchets up a couple notches.

    Kantor endorse Rubio
    Crist quits GOP
    Crist runs as independent
    Crist Wins as independent and votes with Dems 85 % of the time
    Kantor faces a primary challenge next time and loses

    April 20, 2010 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. Dano

    I'm from Florida and sincerely hope Crist runs as an Independent. He's the best candidate from either party and often votes against his own party when the Florida GOP passes some extremist bill that is not in the State's best interest. He is a moderate – something nearly unheard of in the Republican party these days – and his victory will hopefully send a message to them to come back toward the center of the political spectrum again.

    April 20, 2010 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  3. Jay

    Cantor is the biggest weasel in Congress

    April 20, 2010 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. Layla

    Charlie Crist would run as a Communist if he thought he could win.

    FYI, Charlie, our Florida Independents are more conservative than our Republicans. Maybe you should try another state?

    And to Washington Republicans: Thank you for finally allowing us to make up our own minds.

    Florida citizen

    April 20, 2010 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  5. greg morris in jacksonville florida

    do these national Republicans know of any the wrongdoings that Rubio has committed. do they really care about the people of Florida or just "their party". they need to keep their noses out of our buisness, they obviously dont have a clue.

    if Crist does run as an independant, this progressive democrat would seriously think about voting for him, to help tell the national republicans that they can take their endorsments and stick it where the sun dont shine. (which is anywhere but the sunshine state)

    April 20, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  6. Steven Bellmount

    "We need responsible leadership in Washington" – so what is Eric Cantor still doing in Washington?

    As a Republican myself, Eric Cantor alone makes a excellent reason why we need TERM LIMITS!

    I just want my party back.

    April 20, 2010 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  7. oldbones24

    They can think what they want but we in Florida don't like him. Most of us have had enough of the GOP and the mess they have gotten us into.

    April 20, 2010 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  8. BlueDem1

    How sad that you can't get anywhere in today's Republican Party unless you're to the right of Michelle Bachmann. Gov. Crist, quit that exclusive party and run as an independent.

    April 20, 2010 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  9. Monrob

    Florida be aware of voting for a crazy Cuban American. I am Cuban, I know what I am saying.

    April 20, 2010 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    While CAN'Tor is running around 'endorsing' people, he has yet accepted our invitation to meet with him with our concerns as to what is going on in the media, Tea Party, Repeal and Replace, Confederate Month, Gay Rights, etc.!!!

    REMEMBER DISTRICT 12? It's been over a month since we sent a letter to you to sit down and have a CIVIL conversation about what is important to the 'other 95%" of Americans?????

    Oh that's right – he CAN'Tor!!! Actually, ".. hell NO he CAN'Tor!!!!"

    April 20, 2010 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. Zon

    Further evidence the GOP is fracturing under the weight of all that tea.

    April 20, 2010 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  12. Ken in NC

    Minority Whip Cantor couldn't endorse his way out of or into a vacant bathroom with both eyes wide open and both hands available to him without someone telling him how to do it.

    April 20, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  13. Clint

    I seriously doubt anybody in Florida is interested in who Cantor endorses. Kicking Charlie Crist to the curb is the dumbest move the GOP has made.

    April 20, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. badger

    Eric Can't is a person who can't accept change, he's still fighting the civil war that the south lost over 150 years ago. The problem with republican's and southern's is they can't accept change, it gets them out of their comfort zone, and they see no opportunity in it, they believe in the old saying if it was good enough for my dad it's good enough for you.
    They do see the opportunity to say no to it and get elected, Sarah Palin see's it to get rich, and to the rest of the people they could care less.

    April 20, 2010 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  15. FM

    I wish the Dems can be clever enough and pull this one for Charlie Crist. It will offset the embarrassment of Scott Brown in Massachusetts!

    April 20, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  16. Florida Joe

    We CERTAINLY DO NOT need more folks like Eric Cantor in Washington............If RUBIO is like him we are all in HUGE trouble......

    Sure hope Charlie Crist runs as an independant.....At least he thinks about what the people want and is not led by the nose like most of the fat cat Repubs in Washington

    April 20, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  17. Jay

    If Cantor is backing him it's a sure sign that Rubio is in the pockets of Wall Street, Big Insurance and Corporate Bankers, can only say "No" and will be an obstructionist to reform of any kind. What a cush job – just sit in your chair, say "No" to everything that comes across your desk, take corporate money for your campaigns and get paid by he American people to do it.

    April 20, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. Robert Warner

    And the GOP continues is slide to the extreme left with no room for any views even a little bit out of line.

    April 20, 2010 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  19. jo

    The GOP will throw you under the bus if it appeases their small vocal minority. The stupid part is all this GOP endorsing of Rubio is going to lead to Crist running third party mainly just to screw them. If only they were that smart to figure it out.

    April 20, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  20. FOXswallow

    Keep putting all those eggs in one basket. Nothing bad will ever happen when you do that.

    April 20, 2010 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  21. SNAPPA

    Its amazing isn't it, have a mind of your own and decide whats right for your state and the party you represent will not only turn its back on you but do everything in their power to remove you from office. Its a shame really that the republicans of 2010 are no better than Al-Queda or the insurgents in Iraq, decide that you no longer support their efforts to grip the people in fear and they will crucify you. Showing respect to the President of the United States is now considered a treasonous act in the republican party, be seen with him at an event in your state and your blacklisted, why on Earth would anyone want this party to have so much as a pinky full of power?

    April 20, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  22. ronalde

    marco rubio just had a nail put in his coffin eric cantor doesn't know whivh way is up and any one who follows bohener's lap dog is just as dumb.eric cantor couldn't pour idione from a bottle even after reading the directions. his endorsement means that if rubio is elected he will do as boehner says.he will not think for himself.

    April 20, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  23. Sarge in Florida

    A IDIOT who wants to support a THIEF...Sound like he will fit right up Cantors Arse nice and tight.

    April 20, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  24. djean

    Oh please – Rubio a responsible leader? As a Floridian, that makes me laugh.
    He is not even responsible with a credit card. He is just a Bushie crony.
    Looks to me like the prospect of Charlie Crist running as an independent is scaring the Repubs. Good.

    April 20, 2010 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  25. Bob

    Gov. Charlie Crist is a moderate, he will champion what ever is best for florida irregardless where the idea was originated.. is sad that the ultra conservative part of the party is pushing him..
    However I believe Gov. Charlie Crist has the support of the mayority, and the mayority are Independents, I will vote for him should he run as an independent..

    April 20, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
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