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. rosslaw

    Cantor, an alleged Republican House leader, races to catch up with his electorate which has selected yet another supposed "conservative" with a penchant for self-aggrandizement as their man on a white horse. Who in their right mind would trust these miserable examples of the human race with so much as filling an order of coffee and donuts? The only thing you'll be able to count on with Rubio and his ilk is one more turn at crony capitalism and promises to pass a constitutional amendment to ban pants on the ground for distraction.

    April 20, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Josh

    Charlie, I'm getting tired of explaining to you what your so called republican party is doing to you. You make yourself look stupid trying to appease these back stabbers, now is the time for you make your own move. I'm still going to vote for Meeks, but I hate to see what they are doing to you.

    April 20, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Marie MD

    What's cantor going to do with Rubio? Shoot at his campaign windows and blame Crist?
    cantor is NOT a rising star. He's an idiot just like the rest of their "possibles" for 2012. LOL!

    April 20, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. JayDee

    This, indeed, makes Gov Crist one of the Good Guys.
    The (so-called) Republican Party is on a purge – weeding out people with any one (a) who is a moderate, (b) who has a sense of fairness and ethics, (c) who has a brain (d) who is not carrying water for bigots (e) who won't pander to right-wing radicalism.

    April 20, 2010 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Mariann Pepitone

    It appears that the republican party is separating themselves from Crist who has tremendous experience in politics compared to Rubio. I hope Crist runs as an independent. It is worth a try since he was betrayed by Mitt and others. Republicans should stick together not apart. I sincerely hope Crist wins and stays an independent.

    April 20, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  6. Doraine Gordon

    Oh, how quickly those Repblicans will turn on one of their own. it was a short time ago that the GOP was embracing Crist. Now they are hanging him out to dry. And do you know why? Because he dared to hug Obama and accept the stimulus money. I see nothing wrong in Crist taking the money when Florida needs it so badly. I'm glad he vetoed the school bill. How would you like to be a teacher and be worried about losing your job? You teach for years and then the higher ups like a younger teacher better than you so you are fired. I don't think that's right and neither did Crist. You voters need to think about stuff like this when you are deciding who to vote for. We need honest people to represent us. Don't base your vote on just a pretty ace. Rubio has a pretty face but does he have the smarts to go with it?

    April 20, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. Sensible Joe

    Rubio was bad for Florida, and he'd be bad for the whole nation too. To have someone so lacking in principles and character as Cantor endorsing him doesn't speak well of him at all.

    April 20, 2010 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. Adalbert

    There is no room for moderates in the GOP. They have been taken over by extremists, like rubio and cantor. Everyone but the extremists and the super rich should dump the do nothing republican party. They are useless dinosaurs corrupt to the core.

    April 20, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  9. mel

    Do America realize there have only been 1 republican president that has lowerd the unemployment rate in 100 years,compared to 7 democrats,every republican who came into the whitehouse the past 100 yrs following a democrat came into the whitehouse under a great economy with the exception of reagan,but every democrats in the past 100 yrs came into the whitehouse following a republican came into the whitehouse under a very bad economy,america has never elected a democrat when the economy was strong,but the democrats always bail america out of a bad economythese figures are amazing,go in google it up the proof is in the pudding.

    April 20, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Mariann Pepitone

    Cantor and Mitt should have endorsed longtime senator Crist not Rubio. Rubio lacks the experience to become a senator at this time. They both are aware of the fact that Obama was not in the senate long enough to become president that's why this country is in the mess it is in right now and will not get better. If Hillary or McCain has won the presidency this country would not have had the deficit it has now and the troops would have been brought home quicker. I am hoping that Crist will win this election.

    April 20, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  11. ckerst

    "We are a nation at a crossroads, and we need responsible leadership in Washington,"
    Which is why I would never vote republican.

    April 20, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. cfrench

    We Floridians overwhelming back Gov. Crist over the far right Rubio. Floridians do not like Rubio's television ads in which he says he promises to fight everything the president and the democrat controlled congress try to do. We Floridians are sick of the party of no, we want a government that tries to work our problems out, not a government that goes out of its way to create gridlock. The far right republicans should learn a lesson from this, but I doubt they will as the tea-bagger mentality seems to have taken over the party..

    April 20, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. Seanathair

    Rubio s already known for his double-dealing ways and his malfeasance in using credit cards of the Republican party. He cannot be trusted so I fail to see where he fits the "need for responsible leadership" Cantor feels is nnecessary.

    April 20, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  14. Pete

    That is good. Let there be no mistake, When Crist runs as an independent, and puts the smackdown on these people that think the GOP needs to go further to the right, maybe they will understand.

    April 20, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. mctaket

    This is why my ballots have gone from 80% Republican 20 years ago to 80% Democrat last year. I disagree with the Dems. more than half the time, but at least there seems to be a variety in their thinking and disagreement amongst them. Those disagreements leave room for compromise and change. The Republican Party cannabalizes their own members if they aren't marching lockstep with the ultra-conservatives running the part anymore. Couldn't you pleeaase put up a more centrist conservative I could vote for? I miss the old Republican party.

    April 20, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. John N Florida

    Rubio is a politician in the classic sense. The Tea Party is 'hot' so Rubio is jumping on that band wagon. This guy is as pro-amnesty as you can get. He used his power as Speaker of the Florida House to bottle up every proposed law that would have restrained / removed illegals from Florida.
    He's pro Wall Street and has never met a worker he was for. Jeb Bush is his hero and that should tell you enough.

    April 20, 2010 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  17. Tim

    Why is this surprising? People who claim to be consernatives...like Crist.... are why the Republican party is in the tank. And he has every right to run as an I. if he wants to. But he has no chance of being elected and will only run out of spite.

    April 20, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  18. FloridaBob

    Marco Rubio is a strong Republican candidate and will do a great job for Florida. Charlie Crist was going to be defeated by double digit figures as he has proven not to be conservative and his liberal support of Obama. He will generate little support by independents. He needs to take time off and first decide who he is.

    April 20, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Michael

    What a coincidence that the House minority whip should be named Cantor...
    Look up "cant": the expression or repetition of conventional or trite opinions or sentiments; especially : the insincere use of pious words
    (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

    April 20, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Joe

    They keep digging that right-wing grave deeper and deeper. Florida as a whole is gradually turning true blue Democrat, and these Bozo's keep pushing to the right instead of the center? Dinosaurs becoming extinct. That will be A-OK with me.

    April 20, 2010 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  21. Not All Docs Play Golf

    All of Republicans think they have to appease the extreme right element, and they are scared not to. As a result they are all promoting the most extreme right wingers in their party, as anyone who comes across moderate enough to work across the aisle is shunned as not ideologically "pure" enough. This is a real turn-off to that mass of us Americans in the moderate middle on things. The extreme right wingers scare me, and I frankly don't want them, the flat earthers, running our country.

    April 20, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. JC

    Great News!! Now they can split the GOP votes and then we'll have the 60th Democrat senator. Muhahaha....

    April 20, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Gale

    At least some Republicans will support the better man for the job, Democrats will not!!!

    April 20, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. CBR

    The Republican leadership all behind Rubio. Who is surprised about that. These men seem to need each other to make a decision. No one dares to have an independent thought.

    Rep. Cantor now supports Rubio. I would be embarrassed to be a member of the Republican leadership in Congress.

    April 20, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  25. Marco V

    As the Republican Party shifts more to the right they should change their name to the American Taliban Party.

    April 20, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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