As reported at Babalu yesterday, former Arkansas govener, Mike Huckabee, has formally endorsed Marco Rubio for the Senate seat being vacated by Mel Martinez. In an interview with The Hill, Gov. Huckabee had some strong criticism for the NRSC and its endorsement of Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the same race:
“I’m disgusted that they would take a position in a hotly contested race when you have a quality candidate like Marco Rubio, who was the youngest Speaker in the Florida House,” Huckabee said. “This is not just some nameless, faceless guy that decided to throw his name in, who had no chance and no credibility.”
He continued: “I thought that their endorsement not only was premature, but was outrageous. And they ought to get behind the guy who would do a whole lot more, in my mind, to unite and fire up Republicans, and that’s Marco Rubio.”
Huckabee declined to comment directly on Crist, who has drawn some heat from conservative Republicans unhappy with his support for President Obama’s stimulus legislation and other centrist positions.
But Huckabee did allude to that support in talking about his endorsement of Rubio.
“The establishment Republicans have made this endorsement for the same reason that they’re in so much trouble,” Huckabee said. “They go out there and support stuff like TARP bills and stimulus packages, pork-barrel spending and huge debt, and they wring their hands and act like, 'This is not good, but we don’t have a choice.' "
Rubio, has also been endorsed by Sen. Jim DeMint, has strong conservative creditials in stark contrast to Crist, who bills himself as a “centrist”. Unlike Crist, he is an advocate of fiscal responsibility and is a critic of the stimulus package that Crist embraced.