Conservative Rubio pulls ahead in Florida Republican primary

February 24, 2010

USA-Politics/Crist

Conservative Republican Marco Rubio is building a lead over moderate Governor Charlie Crist in Florida’s Republican Senate primary, a contest highlighting the perils facing party moderates in this rambunctious election year, a poll shows.

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Republican primary voters released this week showed Rubio, a former Florida House Speaker, with 54 percent support against Crist’s 36 percent. A poll in January had Rubio ahead by 13 points.

The primary race has echoes in Arizona, where veteran Senator John McCain faces his strongest challenge yet from fiery conservative J.D. Hayworth, who is attacking his “moderate record” on taxes, social issues and the bank bailout.

Rubio, who like Hayworth is a favorite of Tea Party conservative activists who hope to make a splash in the 2010 congressional election and beyond, is campaigning on issues including opposition to “excessive and wasteful spending in Washington” and big government.

He is assailing Crist for taking funds from the $787 billion federal government stimulus, and for his willingness to work with Democratic President Barack Obama — a definite no-no with Republican hard-liners.

“While Republicans were advocating for targeted efforts based on broad-based tax relief and spending reforms, Charlie Crist ignored those efforts, instead siding with Barack Obama and congressional Democrats in favor of the largest spending bill in American history,” Rubio said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“The differences between my opponent and me on the stimulus and on the virtues of limited government versus a heavy-handed, big-spending government represent the defining issues of this campaign,” he added.

Crist, a popular governor who until recently was seen as a shoo-in for the party’s Senate nomination, said last month that he had no regrets about working with Obama, and that accepting the funds was “the right thing to do.”

“We needed the money. And it saved 87,000 jobs in our state, and you know, I was raised to respect the presidency of the United States,” he said.

A Quinnipiac University poll in late January had Rubio with a more slender three-point lead in the race, which is tipped to be hard-fought all the way to polling day on Aug. 24.

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Reuters  photo by Mark Wallheiser

5 comments

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Why isn’t the media exposing the damage that the Republican party is doing to the country by obstructing everything?

Posted by Streetfighter | Report as abusive

Obama and the progressive congress can pass everything they want right now. First it was a filibuster proof senate, but the democrats couldn’t get their act together. Now it is through reconciliation.

The democrats don’t need one single republican vote to force their agenda on us, so the cry of “obstruction” is not true.

The American people are stopping this. Virginia, NJ and MA were warning calls…loud and clear.

If the president’s agenda was popular with the American people, it would have been a slam dunk, but isn’t. Look at his 45 percent job approval rating. Oh and congress now has a 10 percent approval rating.

It’s great they can’t get anything accomplished within their own democrat party. It’s good for America and Americans.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Over in Arizona, John McCain’s political career is about to go down in flames as well. Seems he can’t keep his stories straight any more and his primary opponent is way ahead of him in the polls.

Posted by Yellow105 | Report as abusive

Yellow. McCain is a progressive so it is no surprise he is going down in flames. Hopefully, his primary opponent will be a conservative when he is elected in Nov 2010.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

Yes he is a progressive who loves destroying our country with latino gangs and the crud that goes with it.

I say round every one of them up and beat them back into Mexico. Kudos to the sheriff that won’t take it anymore.
We can’t rely on the Federal Government to do what they are suppose to do. They are a bunch of rotten, no-good crooks.

Posted by philcollins1 | Report as abusive