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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Ted Cruz to Marco Rubio: 'You inspire me'

Rubio on Senate floor


Rubio on Senate floor



Sen. Marco Rubio made an appearance this evening on the Senate floor to join in Sen. Ted Cruz's last-stand on the move to defund Obamacare. Rubio weaved a familiar narrative about his Cuban immigrant parents and the American Dream.

"There’s a growing number of people that are starting to doubt if that dream is still true," Rubio said, casting the health care law as a job and opportunity killer. "It could cost you hours out of your paycheck. It could cost you your very job."

When Rubio finished, Cruz turned to his fellow Cuban American and said: "You inspire me." He raised the 2010 U.S. Senate race in which Rubio began as a deep underdog to Charlie Crist, the establishment favorite (see Cornyn, John).

"They all said with that same certitude, with that same deep baritone voice, 'This young lad Rubio has no chance winning this race.' And if it were up to official Washington, they would have been right. By every measure of official Washington, the winner of that race had been picked, the governor of the state. The only thing that was standing with Marco Rubio was the people," Cruz said.

"When he started,  he was at 3 percent in the polls -- a condition I know well because two years later I found myself  in a very similar position. And yet he ran a campaign where he crisscrossed the state of Florida, listening to the Florida people and getting support form the grassroots. And his victory in 2010 was a transformational moment in American politics. And it's also emblematic of what this fight is about right here."

The health care fight has come at a good time for Rubio, who has been battered by conservatives for his role in immigration reform. On Wednesday morning he was back with Cruz on the floor, then made another appearance later in the morning. A comment from Twitter user @bethpariseau demonstrated the political upside: "I may disagree with @marcorubio on the immigration bill, but I love his passion today!"

Rubio also got play on Fox and Friends.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 11:24am]


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