Sen. Marco Rubio addresses Pinellas County Republicans, mum on VP talk
Days after his endorsement of Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio returned Saturday night to the county that helped boost his national ascent.
The rising Republican star and short-lister for vice presidential nominee worked to fire up his base, pushing Medicare reform and assailing the federal government's "big black hole for debt."
Though his speech ended with a shout from the crowd of "Rubio for VP," the would-be-candidate mentioned no such speculation. He barely uttered Romney's name, repeatedly calling him "our nominee" instead.
His keynote speech to the Pinellas County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner drew 500 to a crowded ballroom in the Carillon Park Hilton. Bad weather delayed his flight from Miami for more than two hours until Republican officials dispatched a plane to pick him up.
"It's great to be home, and I do mean home," Rubio said. "This county has meant so much to me in my campaign."