Sen. Marco Rubio will not attend CPAC
Sen. Marco Rubio is the latest top-name Republican to bail on the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, set to begin Feb. 10.
The newly elected lawmaker will be focused on his Senate duties that week then "return to Florida for a working weekend capped off by the Pinellas County Lincoln Day Dinner," on Feb. 12, spokesman Alex Burgos told the Buzz.
Burgos denied the decision relates to controversy over the inclusion of a gay conservative group, GOProud. Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and groups such as the Heritage Foundation and Family Research Council have pulled out in protest.
Rubio was among the most anticipated speakers at last year's CPAC (video below), but his team has been trying to play down national media exposure as part of an effort to show he's focused on doing the job. A CPAC website shows Rubio's picture, along with DeMint, but that's because they were among those invited. The site says South Florida Republican Rep. Allen West is a confirmed speaker.