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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Jeb: I helped persuade Marco Rubio not to quit his Senate race against Charlie Crist



An upbeat Jeb Bush began a three-day bus tour through New Hampshire Tuesday night, and between stops he chatted with several reporters aboard his bus. One story we had never heard before concerned Bush's role in preventing Rubio from giving up on his longshot U.S. Senate campaign against Charlie Charlie Crist when Rubio's prospects looked bleak in the summer of 2009.

Bush recounted the anecdote after we asked why he never publicly endorsed Rubio against Crist in that 2010 race.

"Actually Marco and I talked about this. I did everything I could. I sent as clear a signal -- no one thought otherwise. Everybody knew where I was. He believed, as I did, that he show his own way," said Bush.

"The record will show, and I think Marco - unless he's revising history - will show that I was one of two people that said, 'Stick with it' when there was a deal about ready to be cut to move him to attorney general or something like that. I said, 'What are you doing, man?' I called him up.'You want to be a United States Senator, don't you? And He said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'If you want to be a United States Senator you've got to run for the United States Senate. You can't leave (the race) to go become the attorney general. You can win.' "

Rubio has credited his wife Jeanette and his own gut with rejecting that deal to run for attorney general. We're not aware of him crediting Bush.

"Everybody knew that I care for the guy, that I supported him, but a public endorsement would have made it harder for him to beat the standing incumbent," Bush said. "And he beat him like a drum.And it warmed my heart. Beat him like a drum, crushed him."


[Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 9:25am]


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