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Schwarzenegger tweets endorsement for Florida's Charlie Crist

'Great leader,' the California governor says of the independent candidate for U.S. Senate. A new poll on the race shows the GOP's Marco Rubio leading, Crist in second and Democrat Meek in third. But minus Meek, it's a toss-up.

October 13, 2010|By Michael A. Memoli, Tribune Washington Bureau

Reporting from Washington – — California's Republican governor is endorsing independent candidate Charlie Crist in the high-profile Florida Senate race.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, traveling in Russia, tweeted his support Tuesday afternoon.

"Great leader, works with both parties, and our country needs someone like him in DC right now," Schwarzenegger wrote of Crist, who abandoned the GOP in the face of a strong challenge from the right in Marco Rubio.

Crist quickly replied, also on Twitter saying of his gubernatorial colleague: "I'm honored to receive your endorsement. Thank you for the kind words my friend."

Schwarzenegger and Crist have shared a common cause on major issues that put them at odds with their party, including climate change and President Obama's stimulus program. It was Crist's support for the latter that ultimately doomed his Republican candidacy for Senate.

Crist faces Rubio and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek in the race for Florida's open Senate seat. A new Public Policy Polling survey released Tuesday found Rubio leading the field with 44%, Crist at 33% and Meek at 21%.

When the matchup is limited to Rubio and Crist, however, the two are knotted at 46% each. Some Democrats reportedly have discussed urging Meek to drop out of the race, something the four-term Democrat says will not happen.

Crist has not said which party he would caucus with if elected.

mmemoli@tribune.com

twitter.com/mikememoli

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