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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: 'No vast right wing conspiracy'



If House Speaker Marco Rubio challenges Gov. Charlie Crist in 2010 (a purely speculative scenario) July 25 may be remembered as a defining moment. On Wednesday, the term-limited Republican had pieces in the Miami Herald and Florida Baptist Witness criticizing Crist's approach to climate change and for acquiescing to efforts to expand gambling in Florida.

But don't buy the hype over a conservative-moderate Republican showdown, Rubio says. "There's no vast right wing conspiracy ... I think people want the drama. But that is not what this is about. I support 99 percent of the things the governor wants," he told the Times today. "The Republican Party is a big enough party for people of different viewpoints to fit in nicely. That's what makes us different from Democrats. The Democrats, in my opinion, are pretty monolithic. No Democrat could write the op-ed piece I wrote (on energy) because they would get excommunicated from the party."

Rubio also addressed criticism that, as speaker, he could have prevented gambling legislation from coming up. "I think by and large speakers should reserve from doing that as minimal as possible. It demoralizes the institution and it undermines your committee process."

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 12:55pm]


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