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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio says Obama's 'open mic' incident prompted Romney endorsement

29

March

Sen. Marco Rubio told the Daily Caller that he decided to endorse Mitt Romney after President Obama was heard telling the Russian president he would have more flexibility after the election to discuss arms control. “It’s been weighing on my mind all week,” Rubio said.

But what is more notable is what Rubio went on to say about Romney, words that display less than glowing enthusiasm for the probable nominee.

“There are a lot of other people out there that some of us wish had run for president — but they didn’t,” he said. “I think Mitt Romney would be a fine president, and he’d be way better than the guy who’s there right now.”

Rubio surely expected some blowback from conservatives, and Twitter lit up last night with complaints that he got behind Romney. Still, for all the tea party buzz around him, Rubio has a long history as a mainstream, loyal Republican. Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and Rubio ally, suggested a different reason for his late endorsement.

"Marco is particularly sensitive about not being heavy handed in asking others to drop out because so many establishment Republicans tried to push him out when he started running against (Charlie) Crist."

 

[Last modified: Thursday, March 29, 2012 6:08pm]

    

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