Senate GOP leader more tepid in Crist endorsement

MIAMI (AP) - The Senate Republican leader says Gov. Charlie Crist would lose all GOP support if he ran as an independent.

Sen. Mitch McConnell endorsed Crist when the governor announced his Senate bid nearly a year ago. But with Marco Rubio's campaign surging and rumors swirling over a possible independent run by Crist, McConnell was more lukewarm in his support in an appearance Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

Asked whether he was still fully behind Crist, the Kentucky senator said he believed Florida would elect a Republican senator but it's up to voters to decide the nominee. He said "It looks like Marco Rubio is running a very effective campaign and seems to have the lead. I'm going to be there behind the Republican nominee, whoever that is."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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