Cornyn: Yeah, I’m stuck with Crist

posted at 3:35 pm on March 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Senator John Cornyn took a lot of heat last year when, as chair of the NRSC, he endorsed Florida Governor Charlie Crist in a Republican primary against state House Speaker Marco Rubio, who had already declared for the race to replace the retiring Mel Martinez.  The decision helped to propel Rubio to Tea Party stardom and force the Republican establishment to eschew involvement in contested primaries, especially for open seats.  Ten months later, Cornyn still stands by Crist, although he’s signaling an obvious lack of enthusiasm for his endorsed candidate:

Meeting with reporters today, Cornyn said he is “honor-bound” to leave his endorsement as it is. Crist faces a tough primary against ex-state House Speaker Marco Rubio, a darling of the conservative right. Cornyn is not going to lift a finger against the insurgent Rubio.

Cornyn explained that he made the call before the primary became a race, when he “selfishly” went looking for the most popular politician who could raise the most money — hardly a vociferous defense of the candidate Cornyn has long touted as a virtual shoo-in for the seat. …

“So I think our posture here is I endorsed Gov. Crist early on, really before this became a real contest. I’m not going to do anything to change that. I think I’m honor-bound to leave it as it is, but it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be spending any money in the primary,” Cornyn added. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to be saying anything bad about Marco Rubio. To the contrary, I think Marco Rubio, if he wins the nomination, will beat Kendrick Meek (D).”

At some point, one has to wonder how honor-bound Cornyn is to do anything in this race.  Certainly, by describing his commitment in such lifeless terms, he’s not doing Crist any good anyway.  Crist — and for that matter, Cornyn and the NRSC — would be better off by imposing an ex post facto neutrality on this primary race and explaining it from the proper role of the NRSC to elect Republicans in general elections rather than picking winners in primaries. Crist might score a few points by releasing Cornyn and the NRSC from its pledge himself.

Cornyn does have a rational reason to invoke honor here, though.  The NRSC recruited him for this race, convincing Crist to change his mind about seeking another term as governor — a race Crist would have easily won.  Having done that, it would be more than a little dishonorable to throw Crist under the bus now.  Cornyn admitted his error in this presser, but now he’s stuck with its consequences.

This is a good lesson to party leaders about top-down decision-making.  Let’s hope it doesn’t get forgotten.


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Who gives a hoot in hell who the NRSC endorses anyway?

All they do is continually solicit funds, which subsequently disappear down a sinkhole.

NoDonkey on March 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Once you go orange you never go back….

Rocks on March 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

Cornyn: Yeah, I’m stuck with Crist on stupid.

BottomLine5 on March 8, 2010 at 3:38 PM

The last politician I can think of who thought he was doing the “honorable” thing lost a presidential election.

AubieJon on March 8, 2010 at 3:39 PM

Morally bound to stick with another repetition of the big mistake (previously vs. Hoffman).

Cornyn, previous TX AG, neoconservative.

maverick muse on March 8, 2010 at 3:39 PM

D’oh! We need to photoshop a pic of Crist wearing a “I’m with Stupid” while standing next to Cornyn.

search4truth on March 8, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Meeting with reporters today, Cornyn said he is “honor-bound” to leave his endorsement as it is.

That’s some pretty weak cheese, there, John. And it’s a bit pathetic to abuse the word “honor” for some political cover. The issue of “honor” lies with respect to duty to your nation, not some political worm. Cornyn, you had better pull your head out of your butt pretty soon.

neurosculptor on March 8, 2010 at 3:40 PM

Let’s hope it doesn’t get forgotten.

You’re not serious are you Ed? These people have learned nothing and will remember nothing.

Knucklehead on March 8, 2010 at 3:40 PM

This is another nice way of admitting you are stuck on stupid?

Incredible!

Sir Napsalot on March 8, 2010 at 3:40 PM

It’s probably for the best that they not endorse Rubio. No need to kill his momentum with independents by announcing that the GOP establishment is backing him.

Doughboy on March 8, 2010 at 3:40 PM

What a prudy shade of orange… heh.

WordsMatter on March 8, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Really honorable of you to sneak around PA trying to find someone to challenge Toomey after Arlen flipped, wasn’t it. Now you have to suck it up and support Toomey, because he actually has a chance of beating Arlen in the general.

Wethal on March 8, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Why does Crist look like Goosey Loosey in that photo?

Enoxo on March 8, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Crist doesn’t need the NRSC. Come election time, he’ll simply emit powerful tan rays from his face and vaporize Rubio.

darwin on March 8, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Hey Cornyn, knock knock ….

“Who’s there”

Orange

“Orange who ?”

Orange you glad you picked Charlie “burnt to a” Crisp !!

Jerome Horwitz on March 8, 2010 at 3:43 PM

While AG of Texas, Cornyn never prosecuted ACORN type organizations (Strauss) registering non-citizens to vote.

After the police refused to investigate for most of the year, the Wisconsin AG is preparing the prosecution against ACORN voter fraud registrars.

maverick muse on March 8, 2010 at 3:44 PM

All they do is continually solicit funds, which subsequently disappear down a sinkhole.

NoDonkey on March 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

No, it’s not.

You just know the money’s gone to pay for beverages and caterings, and limos, and nice places to meet /conferencing.

Oops, sorry, it is the RNC.

Sir Napsalot on March 8, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Music Theme thread!
======================

Stealers Wheels – Stuck In The Middle With You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8StG4fFWHqg

canopfor on March 8, 2010 at 3:47 PM

I think I’m honor-bound to leave it as it is, but it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be spending any money in the primary,” Cornyn added. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to be saying anything bad about Marco Rubio. To the contrary, I think Marco Rubio, if he wins the nomination, will beat Kendrick Meek (D).”

You highlighted this quote, but it really says it all.

The NRSC’s continuing “endorsement” is worth nothing now, and Cornyn owns it.

cs89 on March 8, 2010 at 3:48 PM

C

ornyn, previous TX AG, neoconservative.

maverick muse on March 8, 2010 at 3:39 PM

This has nothing to do with neo-conservatism, which is an approach to foreign policy and national defense.

Cornyn’s a RINO who’s sticking up for fellow RINO Crist.
End of story.
(What about the rumors that Crist was going to leave the GOP?)

Jenfidel on March 8, 2010 at 3:48 PM

The Orange Revolution

Cicero43 on March 8, 2010 at 3:50 PM

Cornyn does have a rational reason to invoke honor here

Oh, he probably does… it’s just not out in the public…

ninjapirate on March 8, 2010 at 3:52 PM

Within my circle of friends, co-workers, and acquaintances here in Florida, it’s virtually unanimous support for Marco Rubio.

The NRSC can stick with Charlie all they want, but it will make little difference in the outcome. Rubio will defeat Crist soundly. Any financial support given to Crist will be money wasted.

jdflorida on March 8, 2010 at 3:53 PM

Sir Napsalot on March 8, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Exactly.

Michael Steele lights Cuban cigars with $100 bills, but it’s a matter of honor to back a RINO Obama hugger.

NoDonkey on March 8, 2010 at 3:54 PM

It was a very weak statement but I can see his problem. A lot has changed since the endorsment. At that point it looked like Rubio had a Scott Brown chance and that Crist would be a lock. It has been a strange political year and it is getting stranger by the week.

duff65 on March 8, 2010 at 3:56 PM

The NRSC recruited him for this race, convincing Crist to change his mind about seeking another term as governor

That only makes it worse, IMO.

Meet the new R party, same as the old R party—lame.

FloatingRock on March 8, 2010 at 3:57 PM

The last time I saw skin colored like that, it had a pop-up indicator that said when it was done. Cornyn should check Crist’s back, because Crist is definitely done.

Cicero43 on March 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM

Translation: He reeeeeaaaaaaly wants to go with the flavor of the month Rubio, but he does not want to look like he is jumping ship to sit at the cool kids table.

Squid Shark on March 8, 2010 at 4:00 PM

No pudding for Cornyn.

SouthernGent on March 8, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Dope.

Jeez.

Bruno Strozek on March 8, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Squid Shark on March 8, 2010 at 4:00 PM

In Florida, the flavor is coconut all year long. Suck it.

chunderroad on March 8, 2010 at 4:05 PM

And, that’s the reason ‘dearheart Cornyn’ why you’re not getting a dime from me come your next election, nor is the NRSC now. Idiots all.

24K lady on March 8, 2010 at 4:06 PM

I think it’s kind of cute that he thinks I cared who they endorsed anyway.

Cindy Munford on March 8, 2010 at 4:06 PM

What y’all are failing to understand is strategy. This about a mistake that was made because the blinders were on. ‘Oh my we need someone who can win to take over the seat when Martinez leaves. How about you Crist?’
 
Then comes the challenger from the street cred conservative with a TEA Party rating of 99.4%, Rubio. Secretly the whole RNC, NRSC, and Cornyn collectively say ‘WHO?’
 
Now Rubio is up double digits and Crist is dating ObowMao while threatening to declare Independent.
Blinders on? CHECK

I think I’m honor-bound to leave it as it is, but it doesn’t mean that we’re going to be spending any money in the primary

Three things to takeaway from this
1) Blinders aren’t dangerous per se, however, you shouldn’t let kids or dogs play them.
2) What Cornyn is really saying is NRSC doesn’t have the money anyway.
3)Now that Crist has absolutely ruined his Governor’s race reelection, are we all going to thank Cornyn?
Texans?NO As soon as we get rid of Kay BAILOUT, Cornyn’s next.
Floridans? Maybe

Blacksmith8 on March 8, 2010 at 4:09 PM

Too bad his sense of honor doesn’t extend to resigning the NSRC chair when his personal obligations conflict with the organization’s mission.

Chris_Balsz on March 8, 2010 at 4:09 PM

John, how those donations to the NRSC coming along?

Heh.

Doorgunner on March 8, 2010 at 4:11 PM

Jerome Horwitz on March 8, 2010 at 3:43 PM

HHHAAAA! LOL. Clever and funny!

Gob on March 8, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Honor is hardly a word ol’ Cornyn should toss out.

He and Hillary have pushed the H1B Visa program for years, usurping American workers for Indian workers.

He is hardly full of honor, I think he is full alright…..

nondhimmie on March 8, 2010 at 4:17 PM

In Florida, the flavor is coconut all year long. Suck it.

chunderroad on March 8, 2010 at 4:05 PM

I thought it was oranges :)

Maybe it is a NE Florida thing. We dont have coconuts.

Squid Shark on March 8, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Crist might score a few points by releasing Cornyn and the NRSC from its pledge himself. …

The NRSC recruited him for this race, convincing Crist to change his mind about seeking another term as governor — a race Crist would have easily won. Having done that, it would be more than a little dishonorable to throw Crist under the bus now.

Allah is spot-on, here. Crist has been reasonably honorable to this point, and there’s nothing stopping him from cutting Cornyn loose to save face.

In the same respect, there’s no way Cornyn can turn his back on Crist unless Crist gives him the ok. Despite what you see from the DemoRats every day, there is a place for honor in politics.

Jaibones on March 8, 2010 at 4:31 PM

This is why no one trusts a politician.

If you stand for nothing you’ll fall for anything.

NRSC stands for winning- that’s it. They don’t even care what the candidate stands for as long as there is a “R” after their name. Honor Bound is quite a stretch.

After Rubio wins he should change his affiliation to “I”.

SayNo2-O on March 8, 2010 at 4:39 PM

Crist is an ‘Arlene Spector wanna bee’… And who wants that. Best to have the real deal socialist than it is to have a traitor to conservative values and principles.

tarpon on March 8, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Crist is an ‘Arlene Spector wanna bee’

Ridiculous meme, hyperbole in the extreme.

And it is “Arlen”, “Arlene” is a womens name.

Squid Shark on March 8, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Crist is a RINO…and I have my problems with Cornyn in that direction, too.
He’s made some bad votes.

Worst part of it is, Crist is going to lose and the RNC will have wasted their money on the RINO again.
Plus, the rumor last week is that Crist was leaving the GOP anyway!
Cornyn is losing it and not listening to the Tea Partiers and the Town Hall meetings’s attendees.
We want real Conservatives!

Jenfidel on March 8, 2010 at 5:08 PM

I’m honor bound to not donate any more money to the NRSC until they actually support the conservative in the race.

Athena on March 8, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Maybe it is a NE Florida thing. We don’t have coconuts.

Squid Shark on March 8, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Oh, you will.

chunderroad on March 8, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Well it’s sure a dang fine pickle Cornyn and the NRSC have gotten themselves into. I hope they learn the lesson and stay the heck out of the primary process from here on out. Yeah, recruit candidates, but don’t promise them you’re going to back them until the general. Candidates should understand that they are going to have to compete for the nomination and that the national party has an interest in remaining neutral until after the primary.

t.ferg on March 8, 2010 at 5:30 PM

The electoral landscape has shifted quite a bit since the Crist endorsement. There are going to be missteps like this. Bottom line, as long the NRSC isn’t compounding the misstep by actively promoting Crist or spending money on him, I’m okay with this for now.

I have a feeling Crist isn’t going to make it all the way to the primary anyway.

Missy on March 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Honor bound. Hmm.
I see the NRSC still hasn’t realized that they are the only ones playing by the rules.
You’re fighting the left, Jon. They don’t fight clean. If you do, you lose.

n0doz on March 8, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Plus, the rumor last week is that Crist was leaving the GOP anyway!
Cornyn is losing it and not listening to the Tea Partiers and the Town Hall meetings’s attendees.
We want real Conservatives!

Jenfidel on March 8, 2010 at 5:08 PM

The only people who have been saying that were Rubio’s yutzes.

Squid Shark on March 8, 2010 at 6:37 PM

Cornyn has not told the truth from the start! I wrote about this fiasco in Novmember and chronicled his sorry attempts at apologizing to the conservative base.

Every time Crist went down in the polls to Marco Rubio, Cornyn felt obligated to “make nice” with the base.

Now with todays announcement he’s admitting that he is screwed and he knows it.

Nelsa on March 8, 2010 at 6:53 PM

Lost in this debate is the tantamount admission that the NRSC is at least in this instance, simply one Senator’s (John Cornyn) misguided strategery.
The NRCC recently did this to us in Texas CD-17. Even though there were already 4 declared candidates (3 of which were conservatives) in the Republican Primary, the NRCC in the form of Pete Sessions, recruited an unknown “businessman” to move to and run in our district. He spent $700,000 in the last 7 weeks of the campaign and won the plurality. He will likely win the nomination in the run-off. And we have no idea who we nominated.
The national Republican Party had better stop meddling in this way. I used to have a great deal of respect for Senator Cornyn.

edgehead on March 8, 2010 at 8:06 PM

I attended a Rubio luncheon/fund raiser today. It was the second time I’ve heard him speak in a short period of time. He talked for 45 minutes to an hour…. no teleprompters… no notes….. just speaking from the heart. When he finished, he took questions for 15-20 minutes. Even one from me about earmarks.

I changed my registration from Republican to “No Party Affiliation” a couple of years ago…. Apparently he’s sharp enough to know there are plenty of folks like me because he made a point of reminding people with a “if you are not registered as a Republican, you need to do that so I can have your vote in the primary… you can change it back after the primary”.

I find him the most impressive “up an comer” in a very long time.

CC

CapedConservative on March 8, 2010 at 8:10 PM

Cornyn is in some respects everything that is wrong with the Republican leadership. Always making excuses for bad decisions. There’s a reason they have been on the back bench for better part of sixty years. When they finally got control they blew it within ten years. Pathetic.

patrick neid on March 8, 2010 at 8:19 PM

a race Crist would have easily won

Like he’s easily going to win the senate race? Stay out of Florida and keep your prognosticating to the islamic republic of minnesota.

peacenprosperity on March 8, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Listening to Orange Boy go negative on Rubio with Greta. Crying about Rubio getting caught charging a backwax to the RNC charge card and reluctantly paying it back when outed. Good grief. Sounds like he’s going down fighting all the way

AH_C on March 8, 2010 at 10:36 PM

Hey AP, there’s some QOTD with greta’s interview of Crispy Charlie. Bwahahaha

AH_C on March 8, 2010 at 10:38 PM

This idiotic meddling with a contested primary is EXACTLY why I quit donating to the national election committees. Now I pick my candidates and donate directly to them.

karenhasfreedom on March 8, 2010 at 10:52 PM

Seems like Cornyn got the “Heads Up” on tomorrow’s PPP poll which destroys Crist.

Nelsa on March 9, 2010 at 12:01 AM

For a little fun, Cornyn booed at the Austin Tea Party 7/4/09:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i92zmYCd81s
The GOP needs to stay out of all primaries. They belong to the voters, not the politicans – we are smarter and more informed than they are – that fact shows more and more everyday.

uber-con on March 9, 2010 at 7:43 AM

This is a good lesson to party leaders about top-down decision-making. Let’s hope it doesn’t get forgotten.

Lessons must be learned before they can be forgotten. What makes you think the GOP has learned anything yet?
Cornyn is a party-fellator. He has no interest in conservatism unless it overwhelms the party, then he’s on the bandwagon like he always belonged there.

SKYFOX on March 9, 2010 at 11:45 AM

For a little fun, Cornyn booed at the Austin Tea Party 7/4/09:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i92zmYCd81s
The GOP needs to stay out of all primaries. They belong to the voters, not the politicans – we are smarter and more informed than they are – that fact shows more and more everyday.

uber-con on March 9, 2010 at 7:43 AM

Thanks for that one. I remember watching it that weekend. The conservosphere was all torn up about Perry answering a question from a reporter on secession. Contrast and compare:
Perry gets cheers and clapping
Cornyn gets boos and cat calls
I’d like to know what Cheney was thinking when he endorsed Kay BAILOUT.

Blacksmith8 on March 9, 2010 at 3:43 PM

Doesn’t Cornyn and the NRCC know that in a three party race they would be a distant third. Cornyn putting “his fake honor” above the best interests of his country is the RINO way. Just one more to flush.

volsense on March 9, 2010 at 5:40 PM