- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will continue to endorse Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the state’s Senate primary race but will not provide financial support, Sen. John Cornyn, the group’s chairman, said Tuesday.

“We’re going to stick with our endorsement,” Mr. Cornyn, Texas Republican, said in an interview with The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show. But “we’re not going to be spending any money in the primary.”

Mr. Cornyn said the group backed Mr. Crist at a “much earlier time,” after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush decline to run.

“We looked around for the most popular Republican in the state,” he said.

A Rasmusen poll this week shows former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio leading Mr. Crist 49 percent to 37 percent among likely Republican primary voters.

Conservative activists in the party are flocking to Mr. Rubio while national GOP leaders still support the more moderate Mr. Crist.

The committee did not return a call after the interview regarding its policies on spending money in primary races.

Mr. Crists numbers have dropped from 53 percent in August to 49 percent in October. He and Mr. Rubio were tied in December at 43 percent, according to Rasmussen.

• Joseph Weber can be reached at jweber@washingtontimes.com.old.

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