The Collective
Tuesday, May 12, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the Conservatives may buck Charlie Crist

Despite Crist’s widespread popularity, he faces a primary in which he will have to make his case to a restless GOP base dissatisfied with his high-profile advocacy for President Barack Obama’s stimulus and his handling of the state’s budget woes.

And he will be facing a vigorous fight from former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, a young, outspoken Hispanic conservative who is capturing the attention of activists in Florida and across the country.

Rubio began telegraphing his attacks against Crist even before the governor’s formal announcement. In an interview with POLITICO, he singled out Crist for abandoning conservative principles and compared the governor to moderate Republican Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine and Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

It will be an interesting contest, as it is shaping up as an microcosm of these issues within the GOP:

Indeed, Rubio expects the primary to receive national attention as a referendum between the party’s moderate and conservative wings. He just received a glowing profile in the Weekly Standard, which called him the “perfect recruit for statewide office.”

What will probably be more telling about the state of the conservative coalition will be the way conservative commentators approach the race.

The party establishment, however, seems to be betting on Crist (also via the NRSC to endorse Crist):

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will be endorsing Crist, according to a senior Hill operative, marking the first time it has taken sides (for a non-incumbent) in a competitive GOP primary this election cycle.

I will be interested to see if this endorsement does, in fact, come to pass.

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Filed under: 2010 Elections, US Politics | |
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

2 Responses to “To Illustrate the Previous Point: Crist v. Rubio”

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    1. Rob M Says:

      Let’s not forget that outside of a few political circles and newspapers, very few of the 3+ million voters in the Republican party know who Marco Rubio is. But they all know Charlie. As a state we generally trend away from the hard edges. Charlie beat so called true conservatives 2.5 years ago in a primary and I doubt that our party has gone further right. Rubio has a huge hill to climb.

    2. Steven L. Taylor Says:

      I do think that Crist will likely win. But, the contest will tell us a lot about certain segments of the GOP. For example: Tax Hiker Runs for Senate in Florida.

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