In typical political fashion, Florida Republicans managed to cover the entire dramatic spectrum with their responses to Gov. Charlie Crist's announcement that he would be running for Florida's U.S. Senate seat without GOP affiliation.
Comments ranged from mentions of hurt feelings to promises of public avoidance into perpetuity.
U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, R-Cape Coral, called Crist's move “disappointing,” claiming the governor had chosen politics over principle. “I am deeply saddened that my friend Gov. Crist has abandoned the Republican Party and its principles,” he said in a statement announcing the withdrawal of his endorsement.
Taking a more fervent stance was Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, who stated that he would no longer be working with Crist. “I will not be seen anywhere in public with the governor,” he said. “I will not participate in anything that involves Gov. Crist.”
And while Republican responses are understandable from a party perspective, one pollster notes that the Florida governor didn't have much choice if he was determined to win election.
Peter Brown, the director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, pointed to Marco Rubio's 23-point lead over Crist among Republicans as a factor that could not be ignored. "Gov. Crist's decision to give up on winning the Republican nomination is a concession to reality," Brown said in an e-mail to the media.