Gov. Charlie Crist left the Republican Party in April to run partyless for the U.S. Senate, but on Tuesday he got the endorsement of a big-name Republican -- a Republican star, literally -- when Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California gave him a nod.
Schwarzenegger, far better known for his lengthy career in competitive bodybuilding and movie-making than his two terms as governor of the nations largest state, posted his endorsement of Crist on his Twitter page.
I endorse Gov @charliecristfl for Senate, wrote Schwarzenegger, who is left of the Republican Party's center. Great leader, works with both parties, and our country needs someone like him in D.C. right now.
Crist praised Schwarzenegger and noted that they worked together and shared some of the same values.
Gov. Schwarzenegger has led California through extraordinarily difficult times in a bipartisan way, said Crist on Tuesday. We have worked together on such critical issues as reducing climate change and promoting alternative energy. In the U.S. Senate, I will work toward bipartisan solutions to our common challenges so we can create jobs and put Florida back to work. Im honored to have the support of this independent leader.
Alex Burgos, a spokesman for Republican candidate Marco Rubio, the front-runner in the race, offered a humorous response at the news -- adding in the names of several of Schwarzeneggers films.
When it comes to inflicting Collateral Damage on the economy, Charlie Crist and Arnold Schwarzenegger are definitely Twins, said Burgos. Charlies flip-flops have made him a master at telling True Lies. We all know the only thing Charlie cares about is the next election. But this year, Florida will take an Eraser to The Running Man.
Crist may need the strength of Conan the Barbarian and the tenacity of the Terminator to catch-up to Rubio, who is the clear front-runner.
All polls on the U.S. Senate race in recent weeks, including the Sunshine State News Poll released Wednesday, show Crist trailing Rubio by double digits. His other opponent in the race, Democrat Kendrick Meek, remains in third place but shows no signs of pulling out of the contest.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting(850) 727-0859end_of_the_skype_highlighting.