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Rubio rebuffs Gingrich: Romney is no Charlie Crist

[Jennifer Rubin] Newt Gingrich is as clueless as he is presumptuous. Yesterday, he trekked around Florida comparing himself to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mitt Romney to the party-switching milquetoast Charlie Crist. Rubio was having none of it and in a rare moment decide to intervene in the GOP presidential race. He put out a statement: “Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Romney is a conservative. And he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me. He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me, and made a real difference in my race.” Boom.

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I thought this part was interesting:

Moreover, he believes his own spin and assumes others share his distorted view of himself and reality.

When comparing him to Romney, it's both a strength and a weakness. Romney (frequently) doesn't believe his own spin, and it shows.

A couple of new polls show Romney picked up support in the last few days. Romney closed an Intrade deficit of about twenty points overnight. 


Hmm, Cuban Capitalism lines up with Cayman Capitalism. Florida just got more interesting.

Quite an unfortunate misstep on Newt's part.

Romney's patience may prove to be an asset against a blowhard like Gingrich.

What I don't get is who the hell is a tea partier here?  I thought Rubio came in under the tea party label. In any case, he's most likely protecting his potential assignment as V.P. 

Even though he's got the anger part down pat, it seems to me Newt's tea-party cred is almost as shallow as Mitt's. Both could use a Rubio bump in the general election, when keeping the base energized will be crucial. Maybe the new frontrunner was dangling the down-ticket spot, and Rubio blew him off. Perhaps he assessed that Newt will lose, regardless who the VP nominee is.

Rubio is a protégés of Jeb Bush. Though he did give stump speeches to Tea Party events, his roots are establishment Republican. He is a pretty face they are grooming for the White House. He would not have made it out of Miami with out them. He is pretty much a myth and does their bidding.

This is why Newt made the comment in his victory speech about the elites in New York and Washington.  This is significant 1) if conservatives in Florida think Rubio is now part of the establishment elites in Washington and 2) if many Floridians actually hear the rebuff.  Regarding point number 2, the whole issue about campaigning in Florida is about how difficult it is to get one's message out to the whole state, and thus benefits the candidate who has a lot of money to saturate the airwaves.  Chances are it becomes a little blip in the flood of election news, commercials, etc. (mixed metaphor?) - in part because a lot of folks in FL are probably tired of the campaign by now and just tuning it all out. Republican freinds are tired of the primary. The first two debates and straw poll in Florida embarrassed them last fall. They thought it made Florida look bad with the way the audience behaved. Many have said they would like Florida to go back to voting on super Tuesday.
Couple of things to note about Florida politics. Rubio does not poll as high as he used to. That could be because of Rick Scott drag on the Republican party or he appears not to do much for Florida. Charley Christ is still very popular in Florida. He could still run again for Governor. The Tea Party is strong only in a few areas like the Villages and north Florida.

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