Moments after Charlie Crist announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate last week, he received the endorsement of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, with endorsements from leading Republican Senators like Mitch McConnell soon to follow. The intent wasn't just to welcome Crist but to discourage the Senate candidacy of Marco Rubio, who has dared to question Crist's commitment to the conservative cause.
But that effort by the NRSC may have galvanized the party's conservative wing against Crist. At RedState.com, Erick Erickson is calling on his readers to stop sending donations to the NRSC. He even asked readers to explain the committee's betrayal to a long a list of the campaign's donors. An excerpt from Erickson's post of yesterday:
That the NRSC thinks Marco Rubio cannot win in Florida is a rejection of conservatism across the board as a winning set of ideas. In fact, in Florida conservatives have traditionally faired well. Ignoring the connection to his brother, Jeb Bush was far to the right of Charlie Crist and won handily in Florida. And not just Jeb.
Rubio can win and is more aligned with the majority of the Republican base in Florida than Crist, who will rely on cross over voting from Democrats and independents in the same way John McCain did to win Florida's Presidential Primary.
But the NRSC has ignored all of that. The NRSC has decided to play favorites.
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And now one of Crist's other big endorsements, McConnell, is being called out by his Senate colleague and fellow Republican Jim Bunning for being a "control freak" for tinkering with another Senate race -- this one in his home state of Kentucky.