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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio supporters push back on tea party-immigration story

Supporters of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio have taken exception with a St. Petersburg Times story about tea party members wanting him to step up on immigration -- a contentious issue some Republicans in Washington seek to avoid as the 2012 elections approach.

This evening, the head of FreedomWorks' Florida effort issued a statement saying any suggestion there is a "crack" in Rubio's tea party is wrong and the "bond and mutual respect" between Rubio and the tea party movement in Florida has "grown stronger than ever." FreedomWorks provided financial and organizational support for the tea party and is gearing up for 2012.

"The Tea Party’s expanded regard and admiration for Rubio is simple to understand by those actively involved in the Movement. Since taking office, Rubio has honored his campaign promises to the Movement, and he has consistently shown great deference for the concerns and wishes of the Movement on specific issues," Tom Gaitens said.

“The Tea Party loves Marco Rubio because he has the character and the courage to do the right thing and stick to his principles, no matter what,” explains Ron McCoy, a co-founder of the West Orlando Tea Party. “Just the mention of Rubio’s name at one of our meetings recently was met with resounding applause – and, he wasn’t even in the room.”

Most importantly, Senator Rubio has time and again proven to the Tea Party Movement that his decisions and his votes are not motivated by self serving political expedience or affected by pressure from special interest groups. What drives Rubio’s decisions is his belief in and adherence to the core principles and values which are the bedrock of the Tea Party Movement: (1) Limited Constitutional Government; (2) Fiscal Responsibility In
Government; and (3) Free Markets.

“Fiscal responsibility in government and constitutionally limited government are larger and more critical to our nation’s future than any one single special interest issue could ever be,” says Jason Hoyt, a leader of the Central Florida Tea Party Council. “Marco Rubio appears to understand that by putting these core values ahead of all other interests in the national debate is the only way for our country to preserve its God given freedoms and reduce our overwhelming burden of debt.”

Attempting to use the wedge issue of immigration reform policy; and, by seeking out people who have been previously described in other media accounts as single issue discontented “immigration-control activists”, that are “aligned” with various Tea Party groups as “evidence”, a typical Progressive Left narrative reporting a “crack” in the Rubio/Tea Party relationship is being offered by a compliant, if not complicit media, saturated in a frothy marinade of liberal bias.

This is simply not the truth. And, there are tens of thousands of Tea Party volunteers around the state of Florida that will tell you that any allegation of a “crack” between Rubio and the Tea Party is at best a politically contrived misrepresentation designed to sully Senator Rubio’s solid reputation and trust inside the Tea Party; at worst, a blatant public perjury.

[Last modified: Monday, May 30, 2011 12:17am]


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