[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/29/art.rubio1.gi.jpg caption="Marco Rubio reacted Thursday to Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to leave the GOP senate primary and run as an independent."]Washington (CNN) - Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio reacted Thursday to Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to leave the GOP senate primary and run as an independent.
"This is a great opportunity to see our republic at work," Rubio said Thursday in Miami. The former Florida House Speaker spoke from a baseball field ahead of his son's championship tee ball game.
Rubio will now face-off against Crist and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek in a three-way race.
While Rubio called Crist and Meek "good people," he accused the governor and congressman of being wrong on the issues.
"I remain the only candidate that will stand up to this agenda," Rubio said, an apparent slam against the Obama administration's policies.
Rubio said that heading into the race he did not think he would have to run in a general election against two candidates. But Rubio said that is the nature of American democracy.
Rubio said the new reality of a three-man race will not change his election strategy, saying he'll continue to run "an ideas based, issues based campaign."
"2010 is a decision and a referendum on the future of America," added Rubio.