In response to Charlie Crist's announcement minutes ago that he will run as an independent in the Florida Senate race, former Republican Governor Jeb Bush issued this statement hitting Crist:
"I am not surprised. This decision is not about policy or principles. It is about what he believes is in his political self-interest."
Update: Marco Rubio released this statement tonight:
“Since I launched this campaign a year ago, I have run on the principles I hold dear, the issues concerning Floridians, and the ideas I believe will help get our nation back on track. This was the case when I was over 40 points down in the polls, it’s true today, it will be true through November, and it will be true when I get to Washington. I am a Republican because it is the natural home for all Americans who believe in limited government, individual freedom, a strong defense and traditional values. I entered this race because I believe no other candidate can be trusted to go to Washington and stand up for these values.
“Governor Crist still doesn’t get it; this race is not about conservative vs. moderate, Republican vs. Democrat or, now, Republican vs. Democrat vs. Non-Party Affiliated. This election’s outcome was never going to hinge on whether he chose to run as a Republican or not. This race is a referendum between the limited government, free market American identity I will fight to preserve versus the costly and intrusive big government agenda that both Governor Crist and Congressman Meek support. This race is not about doing whatever it takes to win in November; it’s about earning the privilege and responsibility to work boldly in the U.S. Senate to ensure future generations inherit a stronger and more prosperous America. What party or non-party you affiliate with is far less consequential than the principles and policies that will define America for decades to come.
“Whereas yesterday my primary opponent was one supporter of wasteful stimulus spending, tax increases, cap-and-trade energy taxes, liberal judges and abortion, I now look forward to debating issues and ideas with Governor Crist and Congressman Meek, who share the same unhealthy appetite for more government, more spending and higher taxes.
“As the campaign enters this new phase, I will continue working hard to earn the trust of all Floridians who believe in limited government and recognize that Washington’s spending and intrusion in our lives is out of control. I will continue running on the principles, issues and ideas that have brought us to this point and that I believe to my core are needed in Washington more than ever.”