Florida: Signs Point to Crist Nearing Decision

Posted April 19, 2010 at 7:01pm

For weeks, Gov. Charlie Crist has been batting away speculation that he might bolt the Republican Party and run for the Senate as an Independent. On Monday, his party started acting as though the possibility had become a plan.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that Crist’s campaign stopped its television advertising in the Orlando and Tampa Bay markets. Later came word that the National Republican Senatorial Committee asked its allies for help persuading Crist to set aside thoughts of running as an Independent.

“If Governor Crist believes he cannot win a primary, then the proper course of action is he drop out of the race and wait for another day,” said the memo from NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer.

At a campaign event with Crist’s rival, former state Speaker Marco Rubio (R), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said Crist “faces some difficult choices in the coming days.”

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Romney referred to the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Kendrick Meek, saying it would be “an enormous mistake to do something that would make it easier for Congressman Meek to be the next Senator from Florida.”