Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE (R-S.C.) endorsed Florida Gov. Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristFlorida House Republican won’t seek reelection Mitt Romney had his chance and failed; time to step aside PolitiFact cancels Alan Grayson hire after backlash 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."