McConnell endorses Charlie Crist in GOP Senate contest


McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may have a tepid relationship with fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, but he's giving GOP rising star and 2010 Senate candidate Florida Gov. Charlie Crist a thumbs up.

According to Crist's Web site, McConnell gave the governor a full-throated endorsement.

"Decisions are being made every day in Washington that have a direct impact upon the lives of all Americans and we need Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate to ensure that those decisions will benefit the citizens of Florida.”

Crist, McConnell and other party luminaries are slated to attend a campaign fundraising event for the governor later this month at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s Washington headquarters.

Bunning hasn't exactly received the royal treatment since announcing his bid for a third-term. Last month,McConnell skirted questions during a TV interview Sunday on whether he'll endorse the Hall of Fame pitcher’s bid. Bunning is widely considered the most vulnerable incumbent seeking re-election to the Senate in 2010.

"It's just not clear exactly who the players are going to be in Kentucky," McConnell told "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace last month.

Bunning acknowledged that during a meeting in December, McConnell told him that "I was too old and I couldn't win" a re-election battle in 2010.

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