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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb Jr/George P. Bush fundraiser for Rubio pushed to 2010



Charlie Crist's camp may try to spin this as a bad thing -- couldn't get enough people to make it worthwhile? -- but organizers insist it's because they couldn't keep up with the growing interest. Also, some Rubio supporters are planning to attend Monday's U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC luncheon and couldn't make both events.

"We needed a little bit more time to harness all of our resources, and that's a positive thing,'' said Bush family fundraiser Ann Herberger, who is back on Rubio's campaign payroll.  "It allows us to grow the host committee, which is exactly what is happening, which is great news for the event and for Marco.''

The biggest drawback of the delay is that the money won't be there in time to supplement Rubio's final fundraising report for 2009 - -a key benchmark for how his insurgent campaign is doing.

There's speculation over whether former Gov. Jeb Bush is asking people to attend the fundraiser or planning to attend himself. It's arguable that he doesn't have to -- that an event co-chaired by his sons telegraphs to all the right people that he himself is on board, even though he's made no official endorsement.

"I don't see him working the event until he decides to endorse Rubio,'' said Jorge Arrizurieta, a longtime Bush family friend and fundraiser. "He may change his mind before Jan. 21.''

Beth Reinhard

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:10pm]


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