Cheney Endorses Rubio for Florida’s GOP Senate Race
April 22, 2010 - 11:18 AMFormer Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday endorsed Marco Rubio in Florida's GOP Senate primary, saying Gov. Charlie Crist can't be trusted to stand up to President Barack Obama's agenda.
It's the latest high-profile endorsement for Rubio, who surged past Crist in the race for Sen. George LeMieux's seat.
"We can trust Marco to stand up to the Obama agenda that threatens our freedom, and promote clear conservative alternatives," Cheney said in a statement released by the Rubio campaign.
Cheney also implied Crist is guided more by polls than principles.
"Charlie Crist has shown time and again that he cannot be trusted in Washington to take on the Obama agenda because on issue after issue he actually supports that agenda," Cheney said. "Lately it seems Charlie Crist cannot be trusted even to remain a Republican."
He urged Crist, who is considering running as an independent candidate, to either stay in the Republican primary or drop out of the race, saying a three-way race would benefit Democrats. U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek is the Democratic front-runner.
The GOP primary has been receiving national attention as the once-popular Crist has crashed in the polls and Rubio has risen from obscurity to become a favorite among conservatives. Over the past month, he's also picked up endorsements from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Florida House Speaker Larry Cretul.
The endorsements also come after Crist asked federal prosecutors two weeks ago to investigate credit cards used by more than two dozen Republican party and elected officials. Rubio has said he has nothing to hide about his use of a GOP-issued credit card.
And after Crist outraised Rubio by about a 13-1 ratio during the first quarter of fundraising, Rubio took in $3.6 million in the last quarter compared with Crist's $1.1 million.
A year ago, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Crist ahead of Rubio by 46 percentage points. Last week the same poll showed Rubio ahead by 23 percentage points.
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