Florida Governor Charlie Crist has been struggling for months to remain
competitive in his 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate. A moderate Republican,
Crist faces an increasingly difficult challenge from conservative
candidate Marco Rubio
. So when he vetoed a conservative education bill
on Thursday, many pundits saw it as Crist effectively throwing in the
towel for the GOP's nomination. Is he really out? Could he run as an independent?
- Why the Bill Is So Controversial
Politico's Alex Isanstadt explains, "The
contentious bill, which would have linked teacher pay to student test
results, carried the backing of prominent Republican legislators and had
been promoted by popular former GOP Gov. Jeb Bush, who championed the
measure through his foundation in TV ads."
- Why Is He Courting
Dem Groups? Commentary's Jennifer Rubin is astonished.
"It's the sort of thing that will make Crist unpopular with everyone but
the teachers’ union, which will no doubt support the Democrat in the
general election anyway," she writes. "All in all, it was a harebrained
move by a politician who has demonstrated why it is a very good thing to
have contested primaries: voters can figure out who’s a disaster
waiting to happen."
- State Republicans Abandoning Crist Kim Derby of the conservative Florida
paper Sunshine News reports, "prominent Florida Republicans have started
abandoning Crist’s bid for the U.S. Senate. Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Winter
Park, who takes over as speaker next year, and Rep. John Tobia,
R-Melbourne, withdrew their endorsements of Crist’s Senate bid and the
Capitol is abuzz that there are more to come."
- Crist's Next
Move NBC News' Domenico Montanaro asks if
Crist's veto "effectively end[ed] his GOP primary campaign? Sure looks
like it." He reports the campaign is "considering two options right now:
1) making an independent bid, which would turn the general election
into a toss-up; and 2) dropping out of the race altogether and turning
his sights to a 2012 Senate challenge against Bill Nelson (D). But right
now, no one is seriously talking about Crist staying in a GOP primary
he’s trailing by double digits. The filing deadline is at the end of
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