April 30th, 2010
03:50 PM ET
13 years ago

Crist Senate ally jumps ship

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/30/art.lemieux.gi.jpg caption="Sen. George LeMieux said Friday that he will not support Gov. Charlie Crist's Senate bid."]Washington (CNN) – The political fallout continued Friday for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist as his longtime friend and adviser Sen. George LeMieux announced that he will not support Crist's independent bid for Senate.

"I am saddened that my friend, Governor Crist, has decided to leave the Republican Party. Our friendship runs deep, but my commitment to the principles of the Republican Party runs deeper. I cannot walk down the path he has chosen," LeMieux said in a statement released by the Republican Party of Florida.

On Thursday, Crist announced that he will run as an independent in the Florida Senate race, sidestepping a showdown with Republican Marco Rubio.

For LeMieux, Crist's former chief of staff, the move means turning his back on the man who appointed him to the Senate following the retirement of Sen. Mel Martinez.

LeMieux indicated that he will support the Republican nominee, despite his long history with Crist.

"I will support our Republican nominee and will continue to do everything I can both in Florida and across the country to increase the number of Republicans in the United States Senate." LeMieux said.

LeMieux's withdrawal of support comes on the heels of similar statements from national GOP power players, including the chairmans of the Republican National Committee and Republican National Senatorial Committee.

At least three members of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist's campaign staff resigned on Thursday shortly after Crist's Thursday announcement, including campaign attorney Benjamin Ginsberg, Communications Director Andrea Saul and Press Secretary Amanda Hennenberg.

- CNN's Peter Hamby contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • Charlie Crist • Florida • George LeMieux
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Darth Vadik, CA

    So the Republicans will march in lock-step right off the cliff, good for Crist for dumping the garbage party...

    April 30, 2010 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Voice of Reason

    Here's what LeMieux is REALLY saying:

    I had a friend once, but the popular kids dont like him. They told me that if I wanted to be one of them, I couldnt hang out with him anymore. So I told everyone he's no longer my friend, and now I can sit at the cool kids' table at lunch!

    How spineless.

    April 30, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Rick

    Um, CNN, that's not George LeMieux. That's Richard Burr. Might want to change the photo.

    April 30, 2010 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  4. Randy

    Why is Lemieux a backstabber for not supporting Christ when Christs' views are not those of Lemieux, yet Christ is a stand up guy (and the victime) for leaving his party whose views he no longer supports? What am I missing here?

    See you all think that you cannot be friends if you have opposing political views. That is where the problems in this country are arising from. Must we all soon root for the same football teams? Maybe we will all have to like the same color soon too.

    We are all different, lets quit the demonization of people because they hold differing views.

    April 30, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  5. Former Republican, now an Independent

    He better not if he wants any money from the RNC!

    April 30, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  6. timothy

    Wow! talking about throwing someone under the bus that's exactly what this Sen. Burr has done. I have priniciples I believe and hold firm to, too but to say I cannot support my friend because he is knowlonger a republican is just that a political statement. Where is this man's conscious and heart.

    April 30, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. mary

    good for Crist. He always put his state and people first and this is what he gets.
    It shows that republicans are evil and will do anything to keep people from getting ahead.
    I am a democrat but if I lived in Florida I would vote for him.

    April 30, 2010 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  8. John D

    Smart man. Very smart!

    April 30, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. DJ

    Run Crist Run!!

    April 30, 2010 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. FloridaRes

    LeMieux knows which side his bread is buttered on! The GOP will not accept any in their ranks who are Moderates – no room for them. They let those Tea Baggers and ultra-right wing nuts decide that the GOP is only for their kind of GOP! That's why I left the GOP – bravo to Crist for doing the same!

    April 30, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    A friend is a friend is a friend is a friend is a friend!!!!!!!!
    So much for friendship.

    April 30, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  12. George of the jungle

    I'm not a Crist fan but is shows you what a bunch of snake oil lying bunch the repos are. Buddy one day and out in the cold the next. No loyalty to anyone. Glad I didn't vote for him

    April 30, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  13. svscnn

    Sucks that I have to wait so long to vote this LeMieux turd out of the office I never voted him into. His lips should be permanently attached to Charlie's Butt for the free ride he's enjoying until the next election.

    And for those who say that he's right to turn on Charlie because Charlie has changed – you've got it backwards. Charlie's not the one who changed, it was the GOP that changed. Charlie just had the sack to stick to his beliefs, instead of some nut-job obstructionist cult. And, having served under him for so long, nobody knows this better than that POS LeMieux.

    I CAN NOT WAIT to vote this fool out.

    April 30, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Lynne

    He was never Crist friend, he was there for the ride for what he could get. A true friend would not make a choice between friendship or party politics. A political party that stands for choose the party over a friend has real problems when the two cannot be separated. My father told me you know your real and true friends when times are bad for you.

    April 30, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  15. CGJ

    Let me get this straight, party lines are more important than friendship? Wow, we really are screwed

    April 30, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
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