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Politics

Gary Bauer Goes to Bat for Marco Rubio

October 13, 2010 - 6:00pm

Ahead by double digits in the polls, former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate race, is about to get some help from a prominent Washington conservative -- Gary Bauer, best known for his bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000 and for leading the Family Research Council during the 1990s.

Bauer, who has led the Campaign for Working Families PAC since 1996 and currently serves as its chairman, announced on Thursday that he was running ads targeting 10 key races across the country. The ads will cost the PAC more than $1 million.

Attacking Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running in the race with no party affiliation, and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee, Bauer announced to Florida supporters in an e-mail Thursday that his organization would take to the airwaves with a television commercial supporting Rubio. It will start to run on Friday.

To bring about real change that restores our hope in the American dream and respects our values, we need to elect strong conservatives like Marco Rubio, wrote Bauer. Im making this special appeal to our Florida supporters because you know better than most the difference between Charlie Crist, Kendrick Meek and Marco Rubio.

Bauer lashed out at Crist and Meek while praising Rubio for standing against abortion and backing the free market.

I dont know about you, but I am already extremely grateful to Marco Rubio for exposing Charlie Crist as the RINO (Republican In Name Only) that he really was, continued Bauer, blasting Crist for leaving the GOP in April. Marco has spared the GOP the embarrassment of another Arlen Specter.

Bauer also chimed in on President Barack Obama cutting a radio spot for Meek earlier in the week.

As for Kendrick Meek, the fact that Barack Obama has recorded a radio ad for Meek speaks volumes, wrote Bauer. The last thing we need is another spineless opportunist or another Obama liberal in the Senate.

Through the Campaign for Working Families, Bauer endorsed eight Republican congressional incumbents in Florida: U.S. Representatives Jeff Miller, Ander Crenshaw, Cliff Stearns, John Mica, Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Bill Posey and Tom Rooney. Bauer is also backing four Republicans --former House Speaker Dan Webster, Karen Harrington, Allen West and Rep. Sandy Adams of Oviedo -- challenging incumbent Democrats in Congress.

Bauer ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, placing fourth in the Iowa caucuses and fifth in theNew Hampshire primary before dropping out of the race to back U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Despite not being as well-known, Bauer outlasted several prominent candidates in the campaign, including U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, former U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole, former Vice President Dan Quayle and former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859

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