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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio endorses Huckabee in Miami



Img_0896Dec. 10 - 10:08 am: As expected, House Speaker Marco Rubio endorsed Mike Huckabee this morning in Miami. So did state Rep. David Rivera.

"Mike Huckabee gives conservatives the best chance at the presidency," Rubio told the Buzz. "It's a combination of conservatism and common sense." Rubio and state Sen. Dan Webster will serve as state co-chairs for the campaign.

Dec. 9 - 5:09 pm: The rumor the Buzz heard earlier about Marco Rubio endorsing Mike Huckabee is true. The two met for an hour today at the Courtyard Marriott in Miami, before the Univision debate. Tomorrow morning, the House Speaker will express support for the once-longshot GOP presidential candidate.

The move underscores Huckabee's ascendancy and Fred Thompson's fall as the conservative choice in Florida. Rubio had been courted by Thompson but never pulled the trigger.

Huckabee's campaign would not confirm the news, but sent out an advisory about Huckabee announcing "two key Florida endorsements" at 9 a.m. at La Carreta, a Cuban restaurant in Miami. Coincidence? Rubio is the first Cuban-American speaker in the Florida House.

The Fred Thompson campaign last night circulated news accounts from 2002 in which then Gov. Huckabee asked President Bush to ease the trade embargo with Cuba.

Stewart told the Buzz, "The governor said this morning that he opposed the embargo as governor of Arkansas because of its impact on the state's rice industry. But while courting Rubio's support in the past year, Huckabee said he began to understand the embargo from the Cuban-American perspective. As a presidential candidate, the Governor will put the interests of the nation before his home state of Arkansas."

Said Rubio, "What he'll do as president is a lot more important than a letter he wrote in 2002. Mike Huckabee has the strongest anti-Castro platform of any candidate in the race."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:10pm]


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