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The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio brings anti-Obama message to Pasco



LAND 'O LAKES - Marco Rubio pressed his anti-Obama message before a jam-packed restaurant crowd Friday afternoon, and used the platform to rally voters against Democrats on the statewide ballot.

"If you have a Barack Obama supporter as the next governor of Florida, I think president Obama has an advantage in 2012 in the state of Florida," Rubio said, continuing the thread down the statewide ballot. (Listen to speech here) "Not to mention if the next U.S. senator from Florida is a supporter. That's even more dangerous because we cannot afford the next 18 months to look anything like the last 18 months."

Rubio appeared at Benedetto's Ristorante Italiano and asserted that government regulation and taxes have made it difficult for small business owners to get by.

"We're not anarchists," he said. "There's a role for government to play. But government's role is not to get in the way of the private sector. Government's job is not to roam the countryside of America trying to figure out which problems can the federal government solve for you today."

It was his second visit to Pasco County in a month.

On the same day Charlie Crist released a web ad about Rubio's use of a Republican Party credit card, Rubio bemoaned the "politics of personal destruction" and invoked Alan Grayson's attack ad on Dan Webster.

"One of the most outrageous pieces of, of, of ... I don't know what it was," Rubio said.

"Garbage," a man called out.

"The politics of personal destruction are not going to make it easier to open up places like this," Rubio said. The politics of personal destruction will not keep America the strongest country in the world."

Joining Rubio was Mitt Romney, Ag commissioner candidate Adam Putnam, congressional candidate Rich Nugent and state Rep. Will Weatherford. In the crowd: Bill Bunting, Richard Corcoran and Pasco Sheriff Bob White. (White told the Buzz he was a Rubio supporter, despite showing up at a Charlie Crist fundrasier last week. "I'm with Marco," he said.

Romney, a likely presidential candidate in 2012, worked the crowd longer than Rubio, posing for photos, signing autographs and soaking up the media spotlight.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 5:32pm]


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