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Marco Rubio campaigns with Senate candidate Connie Mack in Tampa

TAMPA — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Connie Mack IV imported some star power into his campaign Monday, traveling around the state with Sen. Marco Rubio at his side.

"If Connie Mack gets elected, he will be one more key vote in favor of a new (U.S. Senate) majority leader and, hopefully, a new future for our country," Rubio said at a brief appearance at Tampa International Airport, calling Mack "a longtime friend of liberty and free enterprise."

"I want to be part of the majority in Washington, D.C., so we can get some things done in the U.S. Senate. Unfortunately, in the United States Senate, nothing has happened over the past two years," Rubio continued, citing the lack of a budget, tax reform, entitlement reform and deficit reduction.

U.S. Rep Mack, R-Fort Myers, and Rubio campaigned Monday in the Villages, Miami and Tampa, where they spent about nine minutes with a handful of reporters and no local supporters. Mack hailed a new poll by Gravis Marketing, an obscure Orlando-area firm, showing him in a dead heat against Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson. Other recent polls show Nelson comfortably ahead, including three since Sept. 16 showing Nelson leading by 14 points.

"We don't see Nelson campaigning very hard around the state. That's his business," said Mack, who just concluded a six-day bus tour and is tying his campaign closely to that of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"I'm proud of Mitt Romney. I think he's got the right message. … I think he's going to win the state of Florida," Mack said. "I think he's going to win a lot bigger than you all think, and I think we'll do very well, and we'll do better than you all think as well."

Marco Rubio campaigns with Senate candidate Connie Mack in Tampa 10/01/12 [Last modified: Monday, October 1, 2012 10:53pm]

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