By Aaron Blake - 11/05/09 05:10 PM EST
The Club for Growth took a major step Thursday toward backing Marco
Rubio in Florida’s GOP Senate primary, launching an ad against Gov.
The ad criticizes Crist for saying this week that he didn’t, in fact, support President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.
The ad is not yet on TV but is slated for an ad buy, a Club spokesman said.
Crist has taken heat from conservatives for holding an event with Obama during the stimulus debate and hugging the president. The ad shows him standing next to Obama at that event and saying it is “important that we pass this stimulus package.”
Crist’s race is the next big target of conservative Republican activists, and the Club for Growth is expected to make an announcement about a possible Rubio endorsement soon.
The Club helped usher Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman past Republican Dede Scozzafava in the recently concluded special election in New York. Rubio raised $1 million in the third quarter, but getting the Club’s backing could lend even more help with his fundraising and legitimacy.
“The Club for Growth’s ad sets the record straight, and we encourage Floridians to remind their governor that jobs are created by free markets and competition, not big government spending and debt,” Club president Chris Chocola said.