Former Mass. gov. Mitt Romney endorses Rubio

04/19/10 Kate Bradshaw
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On Saturday, former Massachusetts governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsed Marco Rubio for the U.S Senate. He stumped for Rubio in North Tampa today.

As he praised Rubio to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 250, Romney likened this year’s election to the struggle of America’s founders.

Once again there are people who are—I’ll call ’em the neo-monarchists—who believe that instead of individuals pursuing their own dreams, that government should be able to make those choices. And so they take over banks, and they took over insurance companies, and they take over car companies, and they take more and more of your money, and they take over health care. At every turn, they’re saying, “Let us run your world for you.” And we’re saying no to that.

Rubio has faced a fierce battle with Gov. Charlie Crist, who is viciously campaigning against him ahead of the August GOP primary. Romney urged Governor Crist not to run as an independent.

And he helped build the Republican Party in this state, helped make it stronger, helped make it possible for good men and women to run for office as Republicans, bring balance to our state again. I want to make sure that he respects that great building experience he had, and does what’s necessary to help make sure that Marco Rubio, if not him, that Marco Rubio gets elected as the next United States senator, ’cause it sure would be an enormous mistake for anybody to do something that would make it more likely that Congressman Meek would be elected as United States senator.

This comes less than a week after a poll came out showing that Crist would win if he ran as an independent in November against Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek. Rubio, a favorite of the so-called Tea Party, framed the 2010 election in a similar manner as did Romney.

What this election is about is a choice. Do we want to continue to be exceptional, or are we prepared to become like everybody else? And now—I ran because as I look at the Senate race, I don’t see anybody else running who’s calling it that. I don’t see anybody else running who is willing to go to Washington and stand up to this agenda, call it for what it is, and offer in its place a clear alternative.

Romney is the third 2008 GOP presidential candidate to endorse Rubio, the other two being former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

More WMNF coverage of the Rubio-Crist contest:

Crist and Rubio Duke it out on Fox News Sunday

Professor Darryl Paulson weighs in on Crist/Rubio debate

Crist Visits Home Town, Slams Rubio

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