Martinez says Crist endorsement not a snub to Rubio

Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) on Tuesday downplayed his endorsement of the Senate candidacy of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist as a snub of former state House Speaker Marco Rubio--a fellow Cuban-American.

Martinez said he endorsed Crist on Tuesday because he believes the governor can win the election, not because of any animosity toward Rubio.

"I'm very proud of my heritage as I'm sure he's proud of his," Martinez said. "But this is about the next senator from Florida. I would have been very happy to see Marco Rubio as a candidate, but not with Charlie Crist in the race. Governor Crist is ready now to be the next senator from Florida."

--J. Taylor Rushing