Rubio vs. Crist Will Prove Who Controls the GOP

For much of the build up to the 2008 Democratic primaries, the consensus among political oddsmakers, pollsters, and politicos (myself included) was that Hillary Clinton was virtually a shoo-in to win the Democratic nomination. After all, the Clintons were the most powerful name in the Democratic Party, and as a result the Democratic machine fought tooth and nail to ensure Clinton’s victory. However, after the Iowa caucus, it became clear that Barack Obama — the junior Senator from Illinois with less than a full term of experience under his belt — would provide some serious competition for the nomination. In the end, the Democratic machine backing Clinton was pitted against the grassroots who supported Obama, and a fairly incredible phenomenon in politics happened: the grassroots won!

The ongoing Senate race in Florida between Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist presents the Republicans with the very same narrative. Crist has received the endorsement of the NRSC, while a large portion of the GOP grassroots and netroots has expressed an outpouring of disdain for the endorsement and are fighting to elect Rubio (or at least for the NRSC to remain neutral in the race). Although not quite at the Presidential level, this is very much the GOP’s version of Obama vs. Clinton.

Of course, the important question here then is, “Who ultimately controls the GOP, the grassroots or the machine?” — and obviously, the only way to answer this question is to see how the race turns out.

(Personally, I’ll be pulling for the grassroots. If you feel the same way, you can donate to Marco Rubio here.)

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well, I give Crist credit for one thing

When he becomes the tropical version of Lincoln Chaffee, no one can argue that he pulled an acting job like Arnold Schwarzenegger and portrayed a fiscal conservative before the election.

Do Not Give Crist Any Credit

he will spend it up to the limit.  He has done so until reality, and the Florida Constitution stopped him. 

Crist Says He'd Be Like Arlen Specter

No, I'm not kidding

The National Republican Senatorial Committee ("NRSC") is running promotions on its website to raise money. The promotions feature Arlen Specter and encourage people to give the NRSC money to beat Specter.

There's just one problem.

Governor Crist himself said yesterday were he in the United States Senate, he would have voted with Arlen Specter to support Barack Obama's +$1 trillion stimulus bill.

My personal favorite quote from that same Orlando Sentinel article relates to the fact that Florida now stands to get about $15 billion over the next two years through different stimulus grants.

“A lot of that $15 billion dollars you sent to Washington, D.C., and my view is we ought to get it back," Crist told his audience. "Florida deserves her fair share.”

What is this man talking about? 

Florida is not a "donor" state. It already receives more in Federal tax revenue than it collects and sends to the U.S. Treasury. Moreover, this is money We, taxpayers, don't  have. It's being printed and used to place into debt our children's future and their children's future. When did they get to vote on this happy occurrence? Here is a so-called "Republican" who sees nothing wrong with his state living beyond its means and having other taxpayers from other states foot the bill. What a guy!  What a Republican!

But he is right. He is beginning to sound like Arlen Spector more and more.

If that wasn't bad enough. Florida media is reporting that, having taking the "no tax" pledge from American for Tax Reform last week, Governor Crist will not use his veto pen to stop the Florida Legislature from raising taxes to balance the state's budget.

If this keeps up, why not have the Senate Republicans simply merge with the Senate Democrats instead of pretending there is any actual difference between the two?

ex animo


i get what you are saying, BUT

people are different. Specter comes from a liberal state, Obama won Florida. You are never going to get a 100% conservative elected in those states, so my question is would you prefer having some republican votes on certain issues, or none because you want 100% conservatives in every state? I understand the arguments with the stimulus, it was a LOT of money, but the hatred towards "RINOs" can get over-played; there are moderates across the country that just dont identify completely with either party. i think the GOP could unite around limited government/fiscal conservative roots, but at some point people have to realize that there are going to be disagreements, right?

Basically, would you rather have another Dem in the Senate or Crist? Maybe he will be a fiscal conservative when things turn around, who knows. I know he is not viewed as a true conservative but I'm not sure what the grassroots wants; florida is a swing state and you arent going to get a hard-core conservative elected there.

Wrong, Florida does elect Conservatives...


Greer put the Florida Chairmanship in full reverse and hit the accelerator over their interference in the whole mess.  They have many county REC's in full rebellion and are desperatley trying to regain control before a full blown rebellion ends their tentative control over the party. Of course, because he is unprincipled and is pissed that his cyncial plan was broken and exposed he had to stick his finger in the eye of Sharon Day.

Greer is on this footing here after he was caught being careless with party money.  He would be well advised to sit down and be quiet right now. 

xc1148, normally I would agree with you.

But now is not normal times. The party is at a cross roads. If we don't speak-out now, we may never get this chance again -- never.

Now as to your question:

"Basically, would you rather have another Dem in the Senate or Crist? Maybe he will be a fiscal conservative when things turn around, who knows?

My answer is: Yes, I would.

It has become axiomatic now days to have the political ruling class frame the upcoming election as the most important election, ever. Sure, it's important, all elections are important. But who actually gains from portraying the upcoming election as the most important, ever?  The people who are in power. It forces the voter to see things only in black and white. When the voting public sees only in black and white, they are easily manipulated.

Secondly, when you are asked to throw your principles away, hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils -- isn't it funny how often nowadays we are asked to do this by our party leaders, but that's another story  -- guess what happens to the voting public? They now group-lean from that election that moving to the left is the proper place to be. Do this a couple more times, and you end up with an unstoppable leftist, or worse, moderate conservatives running around saying we have to move to the left because that's where the voters are. Well, that may, indeed, be where the voters are, but it is not where they are going to stay. As the economy and liberty lessen, they will re-learn the blessings of fiscal conservatism and liberty, and start seeking out principled leaders to show them how to get back from their folly. But who will lead them?

Make no mistake about it, this is our time in history to stand up for the right truth, the right path, the right way. If we fail in this resolve, we will have abandoned our duty to this Republic, to this democracy, to this country, to the people, to our ourselves.

ex animo







i agree

plus, rubio (i watched a short clip of him speaking) seems like a good guy. My parents live in Florida, and my dad is a republican so i will encourage him to vote for Rubio in the primary, he doesn't seem to be a fan of Crist anyway. should be interesting


From what I have seen of Rubio, would it not be better for him to have run for governor, and set himself up alongside other superb governors on the GOP side (Palin, Jindal, Sanford, etc.)?

The GOP could have run away with both the Senate seat and the governor ship. Now, there will be two primaries that may be little more than circular firing squads - and that, I fear will give the Dems a better chance than they should have had going in.

I think Maggie Gallagher is right in her comments on today's Corner about the lack of strategic thinking of social conservatives these days.


With all due respect, Mr. Hutchison..., it wouldn't.

Yes, it would surely be better for the party if I ran for the governorship of Florida. But I have far more important concerns than the party's well being. I have this nation's well being and its future.

I have seen first-hand how socialism destroyed my parents' country. I will not let it destroy mine. This is our time in history to stand up for what we believe and to be willing to defend it to the top. This I intend to do.

ex animo


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