The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Martinez pushed for Crist endorsements

Surprised by the lightning-fast endorsement of Gov. Charlie Crist for Senate by conservative Sen. John Cornyn, the chief of the National Republican Senatorial Committee? We were, too -- especially since he told Buzz last week he would stay on the sidelines and let Floridians decide between Crist and former Speaker Marco Rubio.

But Florida Sen. Mel Martinez says he urged Cornyn and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to quickly close ranks behind Crist -- particularly since they had all recruited him to run. McConnell endorsed Crist early Tuesday, too, as did the GOP conference chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate. 

"I suggested to them it was very important that we present a united front, and make sure there's not a complicated primary when there doesn't need to be one," Martinez told the Buzz at the U.S. Capitol.

"This wasn't a heavy lift," he added. "Everyone chimed right in."

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 7:00pm]

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