April 29th, 2010
08:56 PM ET
12 years ago

Menendez after Crist decision: GOP 'cannibalizing' moderates

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/29/art.jkusa.rm.jpg caption="Sen. Robert Menendez said Thursday the Republican Party is "cannibalizing" its moderates."]Washington (CNN) - The senator responsible for promoting Democrats in senate races nationwide said the Republican Party is "cannibalizing" its moderates.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, reacted to Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to abandon the Republican senate primary and launch an independent bid. Menendez is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

"This is an example of what's happening in the Republican Party across the country where they're cannibalizing each other," Menendez told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King in an interview that aired on CNN's John King, USA.

Crist's decision essentially launched a three-way general election race pitting him against former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio – expected to become the Republican nominee - and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek.

Rubio has moved "so far to the right with the Tea Party element," Menendez said, that Crist isn't able to win the Republican nomination "because he's not … to the right enough."

As for the Democratic congressman's chances in the race, Menendez believes keeping Crist in the matchup will benefit Meek.

"As far as I'm concerned, Kendrick Meek – who hasn't run statewide … is leading a path that is going to move straight down the center - [he'll] be able to get Democrats, Republicans and Independents," Menendez said.

Filed under: Charlie Crist • JKUSA • John King USA • Popular Posts • Robert Menendez
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. ib

    The only ones the democrats want now are the far left looney tune people; Obama is proof of that.

    April 29, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Robert

    Perhaps, Democrats don't understand how democracy works. People vote in elections. If Florida Republicans prefer the conservative candidate over the moderate, there is nothing the GOP can, or should do, to interfere with the democratic process. In the end, people run the GOP.

    April 29, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. Obama the liar

    you are irrelevant Menendez

    April 29, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  4. Old Farmboy

    The only reason that Christ is going Independent is that he knows he's not going to beat Rubio. His only motivation is so that he can stay in an elected office. But, that ain't going to cut mustard. Just a few weeks ago he swore off an Independent run. Now he's just trying to stay afloat. Truth be known, he should back up Rubio and not try to steal votes. My personnal opinion, his career is about to flush.

    April 29, 2010 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  5. vwrtb

    The GOP have been cannibalizing this country for the better part of 30 years...

    April 29, 2010 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    People who support the emergence of a third party should support the GOP doing precisely what this man says.

    April 29, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  7. phoenix86

    This from a Senator on his last term in office before New Jersey tosses him out.

    April 29, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |

    Menendez comes from a state the is trying to self-destruct, except for the heroic efforts of the current GOP governor (who is getting ZERO support from wacked out loony lib Dems who only want to cement their failure). His comments concerning Florida are irrelevant and should be disregarded.

    April 29, 2010 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Hats off to Crist for not bowing down and kissing the ring of the extremist neo-cons that have conquered and ruined the republican party. The GOP is now America's fanatical jihadist party.

    April 29, 2010 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. chris b

    GOP = Party of exclusion and "purity" contracts

    April 29, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  11. Michele

    Palin, Bachmann, Beck and Hannity have decided that there is no room in America for views other than their own. If these people ever take control, you will see a country ruled by the mob mentality, pretending they are 'serving God," by demonizing not only moderate Republicans, but anyone who doesn't look or think as they do. Sound familiar, all you tea partiers carrying Obama as Hitler signs? Perhaps the devil is within YOUR ranks, not his. And perhaps he is a she.

    April 29, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    He's right because the Democrats never treated Lieberman this way when he supported McCain even though Lieberman votes with Democrats.

    April 29, 2010 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. Squigman

    Here's a question for all: since the oil rig sank, and the Gulf Coast, is threatened with a major disaster, where are McCain and Palin, with their ever endearing chant of Drill Baby Drill? I've got a chant for them. Go to Gulf Coast, and Mop Baby Mop.

    April 29, 2010 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  14. Uncle Sam

    Just liberals!!!! Americans are angry, and liberals are peeing their pants. I hope the liberals water down an immigration bill and cram it through. All I read, and listent o on the radio tells me that the majority of Americans agree with AZ law, you know the one that enforces US law.

    April 29, 2010 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  15. Shelly

    GOP is the party of Grand Ole Psychos.....they are consumed by their right wing, nonsensical, no solutions but say keep saying NO, hateful ideology.
    There are NO good men in the GOP. Gov. Crist , wishing you luck against the flip flop and corrupt Rubio.

    April 29, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  16. David

    Cannabalism? May they continue to eat each other until not a single one of them is left to terrorize our great and free country!

    April 29, 2010 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Oh, this will be nice and messy. It will be hard for the Democrat Meek to get his name out there since there has been a big dust up over Crist and Rubio. People, for a while at least, will say who is that guy like people did with Harry Truman.

    April 29, 2010 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  18. Gil

    The Party of No, that used to be called the republican party, has gone so far right that they are left! Now Party of No republican Hunter from California wants to go against the 14th Amendment. Will this party stop at nothing? They are becoming like the National Socialists (Nazi).

    April 29, 2010 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. Francisco Cardenas

    Politicians of both parties have sorely disappointed their supporters. I am sure most gay and lesbian people and Hispanic people in this country feel pretty betrayed by "change we can believe in" about now.

    April 29, 2010 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  20. Dan

    Same for democrats, my friend! We are at the era of extremism in American politics!

    April 29, 2010 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. Hoooah Boy

    Nothing like a Quitter to exemplify and personify the modern-day Republican Party, heh Sarah Palin?

    April 29, 2010 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  22. Joe


    If I remember correctly Joe Liebermen use to be a Democrat, I guess the Democratic Party is doing likewise to its moderate members

    April 29, 2010 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. Michael

    I can't help but to think of all the attrocities in history that have been brought about in the name of political or religious purity. The R's are heading down a dark path.

    April 29, 2010 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. Ryan

    All this proves is what we already knew: the GOP is like the third Reich, it can't tolerate any kind of thought or debate or opinion beyond itself and there's always a knee jerk reaction of vitriol to anything moderate or towards the left. Is there ANYONE they will be bipartisan with? Hell no!!

    Fortunately, what doesn't adapt, eventually dies. It's the law of nature. May they go queitly into the night like the Whig party did...never to be heard from again...

    April 30, 2010 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  25. Hoooah Boy

    Why is the government, and the Obama administration, ONLY going after Goldman Sachs....and, not the main guilty party, Paulson Inc.? After all, this would make much more sense. Just like it went after a big name, with deep pockets and high vis, named Martha Stewart, and all but completely overlooked the main guilty individual who's main job is to know better. They went after the cook, and not the crook!

    April 30, 2010 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
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