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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tampa's mayor: 'I have never met Marco Rubio' but 'one would think...'

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks Monday with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts in Tampa.

Photo via Bob Buckhorn

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks Monday with MSNBC host Thomas Roberts in Tampa.



Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is coming to Tampa later today for a campaign rally, but he got no love in the hours before the event from Tampa's Democratic mayor.

"I will tell you in no uncertain terms: He's been the senator for four years. I am the mayor of the third-largest city in this state. I have never met Marco Rubio. He has never taken the time, either in Washington, D.C. or in Tampa," Mayor Bob Buckhorn told MSNBC.

Rubio's staff, yes, but not the senator himself, he said.

"One would think if you were the sitting U.S. senator of the state of Florida that you would would have taken the time to meet the mayor of the third largest city in the state," said Buckhorn, a potential candidate for governor in 2018.

And he doesn't expect Rubio to close the gap.

"My sense is that Mr. (Donald) Trump is going to win, and I think this will be the last stand for Sen. Rubio," he said.

Buckhorn, a Hillary Clinton supporter, said he expects her to win the Democratic primary.

"This is where presidents get picked, this I-4 corridor from Orlando to Tampa," he said. "It's the ultimate swing area in America. The demographics almost line up perfectly."

[Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2016 2:59pm]


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