Several big name national Republicans have moved to support Rubio now that Crist has publicly stated that he might run as an Independent. Yesterday, the GOP sent a stern warning to Republicans who want to support an Independent Crist: do so and risk getting kicked out of the party:
In a memo sent to party officials Thursday, the state party's general counsel decreed that because party officials -- from local precinct captains to national committee members to legislators -- signed an oath to support Republicans, they would be obligated to oppose Crist's unaffiliated campaign and ask for any donations to be refunded.My Take
``Any member who fails to formally revoke his or her public support and request the return of any contributions made to a candidate running against the candidate of the Republican Party would be in violation of the RPOF Rules and would be subject to removal from party office and membership on Republican executive committees,'' said the memo from Jason Gonzalez, who used to be the general counsel of Crist and ousted chairman Jim Greer.
As a progressive, I would certainly prefer a staunch liberal to either Crist or Rubio. But, Kendrick Meek, the Democratic contender, is largely unknown, and I am not sure that Florida will elect him as Senator.
Crist can provide a moderate alternative to Meek and Rubio. Given the "purple" status of Florida, Crist could indeed win the general election. This is exactly why Republicans are scrambling to isolate and marginalize him.