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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jim DeMint, Rubio's earliest backer in Washington, leaving Senate



Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party hero, announced today he was resigning to run the Heritage Foundation. He was the earliest Washington backer of Marco Rubio, back when the Florida Republican was still unknown on the national stage and facing what looked like a steep climb against Charlie Crist.

"Sad to lose @JimDeMint in the#Senate. But excited he is staying involved in the cause with @Heritage," Rubio wrote a few minutes ago on Twitter. In the video below, from June 2009, Rubio adopts the tea party lexicon. He rode the movement without fully being identified as one of its creations. This, after all, was an establishment Republican who served nine years in the Florida Legislature.

In a recent GQ interview, Rubio said DeMint was his best friend besides his wife.

Below, video statement from Rubio about today's news.


[Last modified: Thursday, December 6, 2012 2:39pm]


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