Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin Graham2020 hopefuls skeptical of criminal justice deal with Trump Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Graham: Flynn should lose security clearance MORE (R-S.C.) endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristThe Hill's Morning Report: As Trump talks, his lawyers sweat Inviting disaster: Ignoring the lessons learned from Deepwater Horizon Former Florida congressmen mull bipartisan gubernatorial run: report MORE's (R) senate bid today, choosing the moderate governor over conservative Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio.

"I am very pleased to hear that you are running for the United States Senate to succeed my good friend Mel Martinez," Graham wrote in a letter to Crist. "I enthusiastically support and endorse your campaign, and I look forward to joining you soon on the campaign trail." (full letter after the jump.)

Graham joins the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) in supporting Crist. The NRSC angered conservative activists--many of whom support Rubio--by endorsing Crist the same day he announced his candidacy.

Conservative bloggers have launched a petition asking the NRSC to stay out of the primary, and the blog RedState.com is calling for a fundraising boycott against the committee.

Graham's full letter to Crist:


U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham Endorses Governor Charlie Crist for the United States Senate

Washington, D.C.--United States Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently sent the following letter endorsing Governor Charlie Crist for the United States Senate.

"I am very pleased to hear that you are running for the United States Senate to succeed my good friend Mel Martinez. I enthusiastically support and endorse your campaign, and I look forward to joining you soon on the campaign trail."

"You have been an incredibly successful governor, and I know your style of common-sense conservatism will serve the people of Florida well in the Senate and is exactly what the national Republican Party needs."

"These are difficult times for our nation and party, and your presence in the Senate is needed now more than ever. I look forward to campaigning with you to hold this vitally important seat for the Republican Party and, upon your election, to working with you to solve problems and stand up to out-of-control Washington spending."