April 20th, 2010
01:27 PM ET
12 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. Annie, Atlanta

    Is appealing to the fringe of your party a good political strategy in the long term, because every Republican out there seems to be doing just that, including the once moderate John McCain? I just don't know.

    April 20, 2010 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  2. Jim In Miami

    The older, white, (maybe) retired Republicans living in Florida do not like or trust Marco Rubio – we are tired of voting for fascist Cubans who do nothing for us after they are elected. We do like and trust Govenor Crist – run as an independent, Governor Crist – RUN.......

    April 20, 2010 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. urbanleftbehind

    I didnt see a lot of Rubio signs north of Condado Dade. If only Meek could turn himself into Artur Davis overnight. Rubio could elbow out Tom Bradley in the annals of "what really happens behind the polling curtain".

    April 20, 2010 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. William

    I love seeing these Republicans painting themselves deeper & deeper into a corner! Our current Fla. Gov, Charlie Crist has been way too moderate all along for this Republican Party. As the party of "No" has moved further & further to the extreme right, & become more & more interested in only power & obstructing Obama / Democrats ..Crist has been seen as more & more out of place.
    I like Charlie Crist.. we don't agree on everything But he seems to truly care about ALL the citizens of Florida... & that's so Unlike the Republican Party & it's favorite son, Marco Rubio.

    April 20, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Terry from West Texas

    If Cantor is for him, that's good enough for me. Ever since I first read his name, Cantor has been on the wrong side of every issue. I urge Floridians to vote against Rubio.

    After all, you Floridians owe us. You messed up the 2000 election, gave us GW Bush, we send tons of federal money to help you with those hurricanes even though the rest of us have enough sense to live out of danger. Come on, do one good thing and send Rubio back to selling insurance.

    April 20, 2010 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. ray

    liar to endorses liar...........the red necks has nothing to offer this country except lies and more lies.

    April 20, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    GOPers had complete power for 7 years (the dems didn't regain power until Jan 2007), and did NOTHING for health care, finance reform, or tax cuts for the middle class. They completely ignored the housing bubble, AND managed to increase the deficit 3 fold with nothing to show for the increase except the worst recession in my lifetime, all the while ignoring all indicators suggesting the economy was spinning out of control. AND - having spent 2 years mocking and criticizing the man who was given the task of cleaning the mess up - they have done everything in their power to STOP that cleanup.

    The GOPers NOW want to talk about the need for responsible leadership? Don't think so Cantor. Your side has proven just how determental to America conservatism truly is.

    April 20, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Brenda

    Love it! Nominate one – have another run as an independent – open doors for a democratic gov.!

    April 20, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Wisconsonite

    "We are a nation at a crossroads, and we need responsible leadership in Washington," Cantor is expected to say in his endorsement.

    Could not agree more, Cantor. Rubio is NOT an example of responsible leadership, however and neither are you, Cantor. I really hope Crist runs as an Independent . . . there would be a decent chance for a Democratic win in FL then. So, please Republican'ts . . . . continue to destroy your own party. It's GOOD for America!

    April 20, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  10. Joe

    Do these guys have no sense of history at all? Do they remember what happened when the Democrats backed Lieberman's challenger? What did they get? Lieberman!

    The same thing is going to happen in Florida. Crist will be the new Independent Senator. More Independents in Congress is not such a bad thing.

    April 20, 2010 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    All these "high profile" endorsements may be nice, may provide a little momentum BUT the voters will make the final decision! So far, I don't think I have seen any endorser who can actually cast a vote! Everybody wants to endorse, yet none can actually cast a vote, which by the way, is the best endorsement!

    April 20, 2010 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. BOBSTER

    the rep-hippocrits are back stabbing again, yet the NRSC can't make up its mind. here is a clue for all the republicans; in fact, keep on stabbing them, CSI can sort out the bodies later.

    April 20, 2010 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. Minnesotan

    And we care about these two buffoons why?

    April 20, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. Donatella

    Eric Cantor the biggest closet homo in washington, If Crist knows whats best he better go independent, everybody is not on board with Rubio, we are catching hell with Christie hear in NJ, people think before you vote you might just have buyers remorse like75%of NJ. Christie is a bully and a liar. Worst thing to happen to NJ since Corzine.

    April 20, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. jerseylou

    WOW, this guy looks just like Sarah Palin if you strap a wig on top of that noggin of his! These repugs continue to talk loud and say nothing.

    April 20, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  16. Thomas

    The Party of Wimps !
    Just by electing a young pitt bull is not going to change your image !
    Nor will Rubio help to legislate with such a tight collar around his neck.
    Party Favors !

    April 20, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  17. Mark republican in PA

    I think the republicans are fasr becoming a right wing radical group going through a purge which will leave them with all the wacko's and radicals but not enough votes. As a centrist republican I dpn't see much chance of my party coming up woith any national candidates that I could vote for. Rubio may get most of the florida conservative republican but thats all he will get. Both My parents live in Florida and they will vote for the Democrat for senate and they are also Republicans. Rubio is just another candidate of NO- No ideas, No ears to listen with and No Guts to do the right thing. They would have voted for Crist if the Republicans had supported him.

    April 20, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  18. Mike Mc

    Fox news is calling the shots for the Repubs now...good luck trying to get independent voters with far right candidates guys! haha

    April 20, 2010 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  19. Mike, FL

    If Crist runs as an independent, he will have my vote. I almost always vote for Dems, but I'll be happy to support Crist. He is the only centerist Republican left in the nation.

    April 20, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  20. zip

    Just what the hard working tax payers of America needs is someone apt to give the illegals amnesty and that is Rubio.If you can't figure that out you must be brain dead.Crist running and winning as an Independent will give our government what every American needs.Rubio and his two cronies have thus far dwindled away nearly a half million dollars of campaign money on luxury items for their own pleasure.Do some research and then judge.Do you want someone who is a puppet to the Republican party ,or someone who acts for the people as he has been for Florida.

    April 20, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  21. Jeff

    Eric Cantor a rising star? All this guy is, is John Boehner's yes man. If this guy is what they are looking to for leadership, they are in trouble

    April 20, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  22. CR

    There's no room in the Republican Party for reasonable people. Only extremist need apply. The Big Tent is history.

    April 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. Muf

    I am a Florida resident & registered Democrat. This may be the first time I vote for & campaign for a Republican- Mr. Crist. He has shown independence and courage lacking in many of his fellow Republicans who are cowering to the extreme right. I won't agree with most of his positions, but I can respect them.

    April 20, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. Terry - Indiana

    Divide and Conquer!

    April 20, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  25. Jin

    If Cantor and other Repugnicans endorse this Bagger choice, one is encouraged to send money to Crist even though he is in a sadly diminished political party.

    April 20, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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