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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Marco Rubio is the Messiah



Richard Corcoran, Marco Rubio's former chief of staff and top political adviser, can get pretty misty-eyed when talking about Rubio's speakership and the era of 100 Ideas. Camelot, he called it, recounting how selflessness and big ideas - not special interests - ruled the day. "When we dismantled that appropriations suite and we broke down those walls it was no different when the Russians toppled that statue  of Lenin,'' Corcoran declared. "We toppled the special interests."

There were a couple jarring moments in our interview, though. Like when Corcoran tried to explain why thousands of dollars for the Melhanna plantation, where Rubio had a family reunion, were on Corcoran's GOP credit card. Corcoran recounted that he and Rubio had planned a dinner for Rubio's top lieutenants at Melhanna, though it was canceled at the last minute. Excerpts from our conversation.

Corcoran: On the last night (of the organizational session) we were going to take the 12 disciples out to a dinner, with their spouses...

Q: That's what you called them?

Corcoran: "Yeah. We did. We called them the 12 disciples."

Q: God almighty

Corcoran: It wasn't because....That sounded bad.

Q: It does sound bad. These are the 12 disciples of Marco Rubio. So Marco Rubio then is Jesus?

Corcoran: Come on...Ralph Arza came up with that. He's an old coach.

Marco Rubio's apostles, by the way, were Ray Sansom, Ralph Arza, Dean Cannon, Stan Mayfield, David Rivera, Dennis Baxley, Marty Bowen, Joe Pickens, Jeff Kottkamp, Aaron Bean, Holly Benson, and Don Brown.

We don't know which one would have been Judas. And we're wondering if Jesus had an RPOF Amex card whether he would have charged the Last Supper to GOP donors.

UPDATE: The Rubio campaign called us to categorically deny that he is the Messiah. "Marco has never, ever heard of this,'' Todd Harris said of Corcoran calling Rubio's leadership team the "12 disciples." He said  members  the former speaker's leadership team also say they don't recall that description.

"It's not true," Harris said.

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:31pm]


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