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Thrasher won't 'whipsaw' GOP to oppose Crist

The Republican Party of Florida recently reminded members about the loyalty oath to temper support for Gov. Charlie Crist's nonpartisan bid. But GOP Chairman John Thrasher said the party won't force top Republicans to shun Crist.

"It's not up to me to enforce it," he said. "I'm not going to go out and whipsaw people to ask them to go after their money."

(Though it appears the Republican Party did erase Crist's prominent placement on it's website, instead featuring Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp on the main page.)

Thrasher said a number of Republicans will "feel betrayed by him" if Crist bolts from the party, as is expected.

"I hope he doesn’t use any justification for what he’s doing on the basis that ‘the Republican Party has left him’ because our principles are still the same," he said, previewing the messaging that is sure to come tomorrow.

He added that Crist can't run as a nonpartisan and still claim to be a Republican. "That don’t cut it for me," he told reporters. "You are either a Republican or you’re not.That’s why we have R's behind our names."

On the other side, Crist supporter Mike Fasano laid the groundwork for a nonpartisan run.

"I'm a big believer that after what we’ve seen here and in Washington that more people are distancing themselves form the major parties and want to see someone as an independent, or a nonpartisan, who represents all the people, not just a certain few or a political party," said Fasano, a New Port Richey state senator.

"Whatever decision he makes will be the right one and I will support him," he added. "If it’s nonpartisan, I think he has an outstanding chance of getting elected."

Comments

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larry

Crist will bring with him the real Republicans, who are being pushed out by the rabid Right.

Gamarex

The simple truth is that the reactionary, religious wing of the Republican Party has marginalized moderate Republicans. So to be clear, a Moderate in the Republican Party is one who does not subscribe to the social agenda which drives the intolerant Right. Moderates are pro-choice, in favor of civil rights for all Americans and desire a pluralistic, secular America.

The reactionary Right needs the votes, support and money of the Moderates to win general elections. They accept what we bring to the table, provided we do not want to sit and eat with them. What Governor Crist is about to do may be the only way to teach those who seek to exclude the price of that exclusion, the loss of elections. Unless they heed the lesson they are about to be taught, they are destined to become 21st Century Dixiecrats. They will be able to be competitive only in the bible belting states of the Old Confederacy, their status as a national party seriously jeopardized. If they think that can't happen, watch the British Election on May6th.

WillB

Rubio is now the Tea Party candidate, but even Rubio acknowledges that he can't win unless he can (1) attract moderates, and (2) convince the Tea Party that they need to attract moderates.

Rubio's been working on item (1) by keeping his distance from anyone assoicated with the Tea Party (even Palin last November), but he has not come up with any ideas to solve item (2).

jaguar

The Tea Partiers are attracted to Rubio for his fiscal conservatism, and only half of them are Republicans; the other half are Democrats and Independents! So enough of this "Reactionary Right" nonsense. Rubio will fight for the taxpayer against the Obama takeover, and Crist won't. The Tea Parties are NOT pushing any conservative social agenda - the issues are taxes, spending, debt and Big Government. It worked for Scott Brown in Mass., Chris Christie in NJ, McDonnell in Virginia - and it will work for Rubio in Florida too!

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