TAMPA — Marco Rubio, who as House speaker published a book of 100 ideas that became a road map for the state Legislature, unveiled a new set of ideas on Tuesday that he said he wants to take to the U.S. Senate.
Rubio unveiled 23 ideas to improve the nation's economy and to address the impact of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in front of three dozen supporters at a seafood restaurant in Tampa.
Many of the ideas mimic the tax and economic policies of most Republicans — from making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush permanent, to ending the inheritance tax, plus opposing any new energy tax or the creation of a value added tax.
Other ideas, like creating a sales tax holiday for areas affected by the oil spill and offering affected property owners property tax relief, appear to be state issues, not federal ones.
Rubio promised to unveil more ideas during the campaign. "Some of these ideas will be so straightforward it's amazing that Washington has refused to do them," Rubio said. "And some will be controversial because politicians believe they aren't convenient to winning an election."
Rubio's announcement at a Crabby Bill's restaurant in Tampa piggybacks on news that he raised a record $4.5 million in the last three months, beating Gov. Charlie Crist's $4.3 million fundraising quarter at the start of the race.
Yet a new poll still shows him trailing Crist in a three-way general election. Crist leads Rubio 35 percent to 28 percent in a November match-up, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Democrat Kendrick Meek trails with 17 percent. Crist holds a 34 to 29 percent edge over Rubio in a three-way race that includes Democrat Jeff Greene.
Rubio prefaced his plan for addressing the economic impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by taking a dig at Crist.
The governor has called for a special session for the state Legislature to consider a constitutional amendment banning off-shore oil drilling. Rubio called the move a campaign stunt, a move Crist denies.
"Spending $200,000 of taxpayer money to haul legislators to Tallahassee to basically hold a campaign event, using the tragedy of the gulf oil spill as a backdrop and a prop in a political campaign … there are other things, real things, we should be focused on instead," Rubio said.