The Corner

Crist: ‘I’m Staying in This Race’

In an exclusive interview, Gov. Charlie Crist (R., Fla.) tells National Review Online that “damn right, I’m staying in this race.” He tells us that he will not run as a Democrat. “I was never going to do that.” He will either stay in the GOP Senate primary or he will choose to run as an independent by the April 30 deadline. As of today, he says he is “still undecided” about which of those two options he will pursue.

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead,” Crist says. “I’m having the time of my life.” This will-he, won’t-he talk, he adds, is “getting way too much attention . . . there is way too much focus on candidates. I’m trying to stay focused on governing.” If people think he’s “in a corner,” then they’re “wrong,” he says. “I’d argue the exact opposite. I don’t succumb to pressure.”

“I’m being very thoughtful and deliberate,” Crist explains. “I’ve got a big decision to make. I haven’t concluded anything yet, but I’m getting a lot of counsel, lots of advice, and I’m listening to it. My fellow Floridians want a public servant who puts people first over politics.”

“This is a world full of wonderful opportunity,” Crist concludes. “I love fighting for the people of Florida and will continue to fight for them. It’s always exhilarating.”

And will he call back John Cornyn? “I’ve been busy,” Crist laughs. “I’ll get back to them very soon.”

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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