When asked during an interview on CNN's "State of the Union" how he
felt about the tightening Florida GOP primary, in which he has already
endorsed Crist, McConnell did not signal support for either Crist or
state House Speaker Marco RubioMarco RubioSenate rivals gear up for debates Rubio: End of Obama's term could be 'most damaging yet' Fifteen years since pivotal executive order, STORM Act could help fight terror finance MORE by name.
"I think we're going to elect a Republican senator in Florida, and
the Republican voters in Florida are going to determine who that is,"
McConnell merely said.
"I'm going to be there behind the Republican nominee, whoever that is," he later repeated.
Crist has long trailed Rubio in preliminary polls, and that deficit
has only expanded in recent months. The numbers have thus led some to
predict Crist might instead run as an independent, though the governor
himself has mostly equivocated on that question.
"I'm not thinking about that today,'' Crist
told reporters this week. "We'll look at that later on."
But McConnell signaled clearly that Crist would not have much support
if he sought his state's Senate seat as an independent.
"He would lose all Republican support if he were to run as an
independent," McConnell stated clearly.