Cornyn on Crist: I Want My Money Back

Apr 29, 2010 10:03am

ABC News’ Teddy Davis reports: Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the chairman of the campaign arm of Senate Republicans, said Thursday morning that he wants his money back from Charlie Crist now that the Florida governor is poised to bolt the GOP and run for the United States Senate as an independent. Cornyn is planning to ask Crist for $20,000 back in total — $10,000 which Cornyn gave Crist from his Alamo Leadership PAC and $10,000 which were donated from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). “I certainly will request the money that I have donated to his campaign from my leadership PAC back and I know from my conversations with a number of Republican fundraisers and donors that that process is already well underway. And I expect that will continue,” said Cornyn.  “In addition to seeing his coffers depleted from having to return money, I think his ability to raise money for the Senate will be dramatically down and I can tell you that we will unify behind Speaker Rubio and we will do everything we can to hold onto that seat in November,” Cornyn continued. “As I told you earlier, I believe that we will get that seat. I’m not saying that it will not be tough. Florida is an expensive state to run in. But I am confident we will hold that seat and Speaker Rubio will be the next senator from Florida if Gov. Crist does as all of you have reported at five o’clock today.” Asked if he has been given a heads up about Crist’s plans, Cornyn said: “I have not spoken directly with him. I have traded phone calls a number of times. And, quite honestly, I’ve given up, and I thought that if he really wanted to talk, he knew where to find me.” Cornyn said that he would have preferred for Crist to either continue running in this year’s GOP Senate primary or wait until 2012 and challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D). By running as an independent, Cornyn said that Crist’s “future prospects are irreparably damaged” in the Republican Party. Cornyn was an early high-profile endorser of Crist’s Senate bid after the NRSC chair was unable to recruit former Gov. Jeb Bush (R). Cornyn endorsed Crist over Rubio for Senate in May of 2009, saying that the incumbent governor was the candidate with “the best chance to win.” Cornyn made his comments in Washington, D.C., at a roundtable with reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor. ABC News’ Julie Percha contributed to this report.

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