The Corner

George LeMieux’s Endorsement Dilemma

From my piece over on the home page:

Former senator Mel Martinez (R., Fla.), whose retirement last summer enabled Crist to pick LeMieux to fill out the term, tells National Review Online that he thinks LeMieux should break with Crist if the governor runs unaffiliated, and endorse Rubio. “This is a very interesting situation,” Martinez says. “[LeMieux’s] future depends on what he chooses to do.”

“Marco Rubio is a perfectly acceptable candidate,” Martinez adds. “I, for one, will support the Republican nominee. I’m not going to try and fit something that doesn’t fit.” Crist, he says, “has a pretty tough hill to climb” if he goes independent: “I think he will find it difficult in terms of fundraising. The overwhelming number of his donors will go with the Republican.”

Martinez sees signs of a Crist-LeMieux fracture already. “It’s interesting to note that in recent days, he and the governor broke rank politically for the first time ever, on the issue of the education-reform-bill veto in Florida,” Martinez says. “Senator LeMieux came out and said the veto was a mistake. It reminded me of when the governor and I separated on the issue of the stimulus package last year. We were political friends, rooting for each other, but after that, we separated.”

More here.

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