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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

As Rubio dismisses VP chatter, he looks to be preparing for job



For a guy who keeps insisting he has no interest in being vice president, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio appears to be feverishly positioning himself for the job.

Rubio this month took the unusual step of asking the Florida Ethics Commission to close out a complaint that he misused Republican Party and campaign money "to subsidize his lifestyle" while in the Legislature.

His political committee has spent more than $40,000 for investigators to research for negative attacks that could surface against him.

And last week Rubio announced he is rushing publication of his memoir from October to June. That will help him frame his story before a presumably less flattering unauthorized biography is released in July and ensures him waves of publicity before the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

"Marco's saying all the right things, because nobody who wants to be vice president should admit it. But he's bound to be on the nominee's short list and he's smart to prepare for it now,'' said Ana Navarro, a Republican fundraiser and Rubio friend in Miami. "If he does get asked, it will be very hard to say no."

Rubio, 40, repeatedly dismisses the vice presidency chatter and insists he is not quietly angling for the spot or seeking publicity.

"My No. 1 job is not to be some media personality," he said in a recent interview from his office in Washington. "It's to be one of the two senators who represent Florida."

Story here.

[Last modified: Sunday, March 25, 2012 12:10pm]


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