The St. Pete Times reports:I've said all along that running as an Independent is not in Crist's best interest. He won't win and an Independent bid would effectively end Crist's career. Nothing that I have have seen from Crist indicates to me that he is a "cut off his nose to spite his face" kind of guy. Better to bow out gracefully and look to the future.
The Marco Rubio campaign says Charlie Crist has halted all its TV advertising in the Orlando and Tampa Bay markets where the anti-Rubio spots were airing.Crist's veto of the Jeb Bush-backed education bill seemed to be a strong sign he was running as an independent, but the decision to pull the ads could mean, as the Times reports, that "Crist has decided to marshal his resources for later or perhaps drop out altogether." First Read reported on Friday that Crist is considering dropping out and living to fight another day:
First Read has learned that Crist is getting much of his political advice nowadays from GOP strategist Mitch Bainwol, and they are considering two options right now: 1) making an independent bid, which would turn the general election into a toss-up; and 2) dropping out of the race altogether and turning his sights to a 2012 Senate challenge against Bill Nelson (D). But right now, no one is seriously talking about Crist staying in a GOP primary he’s trailing by double digits. The filing deadline is at the end of this month.
On an interesting note, Dan Riehl is reporting that Crist is not taking or returning John Cornyn's calls:
It appears John Cornyn may be about to get something more painful from Charlie Crist than a back waxing. Cornyn pushed Crist early and hard. His pay back may come from the back and with a twist, capping off Cornyn's less than stellar performance at the NRSC.I guess somebody isn't feeling the love. It is hard to feel sorry for Cornyn. He and the NRSC just seem to be capable of learning from their mistakes.
Privately, GOP officials have even tried to broach the idea that Crist drop out of the race. NRSC chair John Cornyn called Crist on Friday, intending to make it clear that Crist should drop out if he doesn't believe he can win a party primary. Crist did not answer the phone, a source close to Cornyn said, and as of today Cornyn's call hasn't been returned.