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Senator Marco Rubio Denies Staffer’s Collusion with Romney Campaign

By Javier Manjarres

Our friend R.S. McCain has reported (and reposted by HotAir.com) that Senator Marco Rubio’s Chief of Staff Cesar Conda has been working behind the scenes to move up the Florida Republican primary in hopes that the maneuver would favor Governor Mitt Romney over the rest of the Republican field.  On the surface, the idea doesn’t seem far-fetched considering Conda’s connection to Romney’s past campaign along with the slew of Romney operatives and staffers that worked on Senator Rubio’s 2010 Senate campaign, a few of which  transitioned from the campaign to Rubio’s Senate office.  McCain reported on this story yesterday:

GOP sources in Washington and Florida say that Rubio’s senatorial chief of staff, Cesar Conda, has been a major force in persuading Florida Republicans to move their primary to January.

“Cesar used to be with Romney’s campaign,” one informed source explained to me in an interview today, adding: “Conda used his contacts to push the primary to the 31st because they want Romney in.”…

Some have speculated that, by delivering Florida for Romney, Conda would not only help Romney lock up the 2012 presidential nomination, but also secure the 2012 vice-presidential pick for Rubio…

Reports that Rubio — or at least Rubio’s top aides – are working behind the scenes for Romney, who is seen as representing the RINO (“Republican In Name Only”) moderate wing of the party, will be a bitter disappointment for conservatives who supported Rubio’s insurgent campaign last year. Many Tea Party activists who backed Rubio against Crist in the 2010 primary are now supporting Cain, the conservative Atlanta businessman who has surged to the front of the the Republican presidential pack in the past three weeks.

What better way to get to the bottom of this matter than to get it straight from the horse’s mouth, that horse being Senator Marco Rubio himself.

Early Friday morning (6:40am to be exact), Senator Rubio addressed the voicemail message I left him about the potential Romney-Rubio connection minutes before my Atlanta-Fort Lauderdale bound flight departed.

“Don’t you think if something like that had happened, you would have heard something? 100% fiction, they just made it up out of thin air…” – Senator Marco Rubio

Upon deplaning, I called Senator Rubio as instructed and he reiterated what he stated earlier- that is was all “100% fiction” that Conda was tinkering with the primary.  Rubio’s consultants were all past Giuliani operatives and not involved in Romney’s 2008 campaign.

I pointed out to Rubio that Andrea Saul, Romney’s Communications Director, while in the employment of then Republican Governor Charlie Crist, was no friendly rival, accusing him of tax evasion during the campaign.

Rubio also commented that back in 2007 it was he who originally suggested the idea of moving up the date of Florida’s primary election, but the recent move by the Florida legislature was carried out by a committee spearheaded by House Speaker Dean Cannon and House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera- both have endorsed Governor Rick Perry in the Presidential primary.

Convoluting matters further, one of Perry’s top campaign consultants was also Governor Charlie Crist’s consultant during the 2010 Senate race before Crist jumped ship and ran as an Independent, and that Perry’s Florida team was being led by Rich Heffley, Jim Rimes and Randy Enwright. Heffley was responsible for fabricating the infamous “truthaboutRubio” attack website against now Senator Rubio. Read more: Miami Herald

Rubio found these allegations laughable enough to have some fun at my expense:

Ok, BTW, if this were true, it means you got scooped in you own state!!!! Hahaha -Senator Marco Rubio

In response to his feeble attempt at humor, I replied, “Only scooping going on is u scooping ice cream in the middle of the night,” an obvious jab at his ‘healthy’ body composition.

Marco, stick to your Senate job, regardless of what you think, you ain’t that funny ;)

Lots of rumors and conspiratorial talk is floating around out there- don’t believe it until you can verify it.




About author

Javier Manjarres

As the managing editor of The Shark Tank, Javier was awarded the 2011 CPAC Blogger of the Year. Countless videos and articles from the Shark Tank have been featured on Fox News, The Hill, Wall Street Journal, and other national news publications. Javier has also appeared on Univision’s “Al Punto” and numerous radio shows, including being the weekly 92.5 Fox News' DayBreak with Drew Steele political contributor, as well as one of NewsmaxTV's conservative commentators.

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  • Susan

    Good job Javier. Get the facts before the facts get you.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/biggator5 BigGator5

    Very good. I’ll take his word for now.

    Still, I’m a little bit annoyed that it was Marco Rubio that started this BS back in 2007. I didn’t like it back then either.

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  • http://Yahoo Doni609

    A politician is a politician is a politician. I like Rubio, contributed quite a few bucks to his campaign for the US Senate and basically like his message. It ends there. Rubio can twist the truth, manufacture inaccurate statements, use his peasant parents both for himself, against his opponents, and also against the media with not even a twitch. Nice guy, yea I would like to think so but naah…..just another politician, like it or not, with nothing more in mind than spending the rest of his life in the employ of the taxpayers. Sorry Marco, you’re probably one of the better ones in Washington just because of your lack of tenure, but you’re still just another sleezy politician thats already got your palm out there to get greased. I think that I’ve come to the sad conclusion that our present form of government will not work any longer. Even the best of our elected officials, when they get to DC, become fodder for the big $$ lobbyists, crooks, and pay-off artists. What a scam on the American people. As for you Mr Rubio, well don’t ask me for any more money; I’m broke!

    • Sapphire

      Doni609, I feel disappointed about behind the scenes Rubio’s involvement heavily in politics, instead of supporting his constituents. You’re right!! Once the tenure kicked in, he’s ready for power!

      Javier, good job in reporting the facts, nobody does!

    • Teanut1

      C’mon! get off Marco’s back. He’s good man who comes from a pretty normal background – refuge parents or not. He made the best of what he had. Anyone who works or serves the public in anyway has a game to play and rules to follow. Our system isn’t perfect but it is the best out there….you want any other form of govt…move. Try Iran for a while. Marco is honest, smart and I believe he has Florida’s best interest at heart. IF as you say he’s fodder for $$ lobbyists that true, however, I believe Marco is the better man and will turn his back on anything dishonest. BEFORE you critize Marco…march your uninformed hides up to DC and do his job. We’ll all see if you please everyone every time. We’ll see if $$ waived in front of your face changes you. Bet you don’t do nearly as well, so, hush! and support the man.

      • http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/mtweiten Mary Erickson/Tweiten

        thanks, Teanut…I think that was well-said, and I agree with your thinking, as do many many other conservative Floridians!!

        • Leslie

          Yep!

    • Ern

      Marco is trying hard to beat the record set by Obama for not voting on key issues. I voted for him but only because he was the lesser of the evils presented to us by the Republican Party.

  • harry houdini

    if this is true, it is a major disappointment for me, an ardent Rubio supporter!

  • Steve

    I couldn’t believe it when I heard it earlier today. Glad he cleared it up to the Tank. Do you know if he likes Herman Cain?

  • Maria

    We need to believe Rubio on this one. It smells like Crist people are behind this

    • lovesdogs

      Agreed. This is exactly the thing that Crist people would do…accuse a conservative of doing A RINO’s dirty deed.

      • Cherieo

        I believe Marco…and I think it is the Christ people..and even some Liberals behind this. So, friends, don’t take the bait.

    • Texas Granny

      I agree Maria, I do believe Rubio.

  • Perseids

    My Oh My, the tea party darling colluding behind the scenes to assist the squishes and save the day for the ruling class elite sluglicans. Must all be a misunderstanding. Marco is his own man, right?

    Has the crime scene been dusted for brother Jeb’s prints yet?

    With Huntsman out Mitt is the only choice left for the power brokers.

    Brothers as yourself this… Why all this urgency regarding the primary date? Florida is not New Hampshire. We are in the drivers seat, we control a big chunk of electoral votes. They need us. What is wrong with voting in the early spring? I’ve smelled a big fat stinking rat since the day all this primary date hoopla started. The elites are mighty worried we might not vote right this time.

    The next time I hear a crack about hillbilly inbreeding, I’m referring the source to this unnatural group of relationships that by any standard of decency outta be against the law. These guys make sister marrying look semi-legit. Marco is now offically a “politician”. Who’d a thunk it.

    • Sapphire

      And I thought that Marco Rubio would be different. Who can we trust? It’s scary not knowing what presidential candidate can lead our country in the right direction. If Obama is re-elected, we are doomed! If Romney gets elected, we’ll have a white Obama. He’s a liberal. He believes in climate change and funding the greem projects. He is no conservative.

  • Cherieo

    Hey, hey…HOLD THAT LINE…don’t start on Marco now. That kind of talk is exactly what the Liberal/Socialists want…don’t take the bait!

    Just like those low-life losers Occupying WallStreet…they were hoping the Tea Party Patriots would come in there and slug it out..
    Well, it isn’t going to happen..TPP are ABOVE all that stupid stuff.

    Let the weather get cold and rainy…and they will put their clothes on and go home…and the Media is giving them lots of attention..and THEY were also hoping the TPP would take the bait..and WE DID NOT!

    • Leslie

      You are correct! Some people will fall for anything. These are the same people who think occupy wallstreet is spontanious and just like the tea party!

      • Danielle Taylor

        Leslie,
        I completely agree with you! This is all being paid for (sorros?) by the libs. I know for a fact my husband and I were NOT paid the times we went to our Tea Party rallies.

    • Delena

      THANKS SO MUCH FOR STATING TPP ARE ABOVE STUPID STUFF… because reading some of the reactions to this “BAIT” farce story being tossed toward the TTP… one can only conclude… TTP have REALLY REALLY stooped. Some of the garbage above sounds “just like those losers Occupying Wall Street”. Divide and.. so said the laughing liberal.

      MARCO does not need to defend himself EVERY DAY against angry crowds.. stand back and WATCH HIM RECLAIM AMERICA!

      If you are out of things to do… get us a Republican replacement of Bill Nelson!

  • Weightwatchers

    Is Senator Marco gaining weight? He is starting to look more like Senator Michelin

  • http://none Carlos J. Negron

    Here’s a scoop that will throw everyone for a loop!

    The Vice-Presidential pick will come out of Florida, but it will be former Governor Jeb Bush!

    Just think with Bush’s background, understanding of Hispanic culture, fluency in Spanish (Spanish speaking countries being our future trading partners with their emerging markets), excellent campaigner, and his overall likeability will make him as asset to any Presidential candidate.

    Bearing in mind that of the last (10) administrations the Vice-President had to assume the presidency (Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson & Gerald Ford) I would feel most comfortable with Jeb Bush being the one hearbeat away person.

    • Perseids

      What a deal. Mr. Moderate.

      What a ticket… Mitt and brother Jeb. Almost made in heaven.

      Guess Marco’s days of being useful are numbered if that’s true.

      Only one small problem. There are quite a few voters out there in the hinterland who have had more than a belly full of the Bushes. I admit I never was on the compassionate band wagon, good old conservative seems good enough. Though the hidden implications of that added descriptor were not lost on me. Jeb knows well that his last name is not exactly market friendly these days. The Elites will do anything to derail the Conservative/Tea Party movement. They are all about holding on to power. We are about changing the way this Government operates. Killing off the fat cat political spoils system, ending the revolving door that goes from elected office over to K Street and back again. Reducing the size and scope of the Federal behemoth. In short getting it back to it’s intended role. This fight is just getting started.

      Romney-Bush the amnesty dream team.

  • elizabeth dunn

    What’s wrong with attempting to manipulate a primary? Is this illegal?

    The Dems have been doing this for decades; I’d like to think the GOP might be ‘taking the gloves off’ and actually trying to compete…

  • Lightweight

    Can you name 1 thing Rubio has told the truth about ? He said he is against Amnesty,yet he refuses to bring up the immigration bill 6 times as State Senator.He refuses to acknowledge Texas Slain American Troops.He resently voted to acknowledge Cinco De Mayo day as an American Observance ? He did a great sppech against Obama’s Debt Ceiling bill and the was a NO VOTE ? Again,check his record and tell me 1 thing he has told the truth about ?He is a politician,nuff said…

  • http://www.shark-tank.net Javier Manjarres

    @Lightweight Get over it. He addresses the 6 immigration bills he muffed while he was in the ‘House’, not the Senate.

    Come on, really? get over it, you sound like one of those crazies that hold a grudge

    • Leslie

      Easy Javier, Lightweight wouldn’t be happy if you hung him with a gold rope!

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  • Annette Weeks

    I watch closely Sen Rubio’s office and this is another distortion!
    The person backing Romney is Dean Cannon and this was reported the day(Tuesday Oct 11) that Chris Christie came out with his endorsement for Romney. The Replublican Party of Florida is the group driving this, not Marco’s office. His Chief of Staff, Mr.Conda, is not tied to Florida politics. If anything,we need to think who would have the most to gain from this? Flip flop Charlie is talkin’ it up with the Dems and I’ve heard that his wife has already switched back to being a Dem. What better way to get back at Sen Rubio than planting this story and trying to make Sen Rubio appear to have succumbed to the Dark Side!

  • Bryan K Donnelly

    If Marco Rubio, whom I supported for the US Sanate LONG BEFORE he became a formal candidate is, in any way, cooperating with the Romney forces here in Florida he is making a TERRIBLE BLUNDER. The Romney RINO “establishment” Republicans are the very ones who tried to stick us with CHARLIE CRIST! Stay away from ‘em Marco. We want a real conservative and ROMNEY is NOT it!

    • elizabeth dunn

      BKD,
      Please do not confuse Romney with Crist.

      There is a hefty $200 million dollar difference in net worth between the two politicos; Romney has had remarkable private sector success second to no other candidate running in either party.

  • Joseph

    I don’t trust Rubio. He will disappoint, there isn’t any doubt that he won’t

  • Elizabeth Craine

    Lets just face the facts. The establishment Republicans want Romney to win the nomination. They are doing everything they can to make this happen. With the conservatives splitting the votes it will probably happen. My vote is going with Cain. If the candidates that are polling only 2-3% would drop out and throw their support behind Cain, he could win the nomination.

  • http://eisforenglish.net Jeff B. Willis

    Obviously Romney would love to have Rubio as his running mate. But I think that’s a longshot. Ideologically, the two are far apart. Romney reflects the kinf of “Republican” Rubio ran against in the Florida Senate race. He also is reminiscent of the Florida “RINOS” he battled when speaker of the Florida house. I do not think Cain’s campaign has legs. His 9-9-9- will be hammered from the left and the right. Perry is the best hope for Republicans looking for an alternative to Romney. Rubio could join the Texas Governor and deliver the White House to Republicans.

  • Joseph

    Rubio has raised doubts about who he is, we will have to wait and see with him. This is not going to turn out well.

  • Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

    It’s George Bush’s fault!

  • Ralph Elliott

    If Senator Rubio had anything to do with this, I am sure he would tell us all and tell us why. He is, maybe, the only honest one up there!

  • tarpon

    Thanks ‘Sharky’ … you the shark in a pond of goldfish

  • Lowie

    We ALL know that politics is dirty a game about money and power. Obama was supposed to change the way Washington works and he lied.
    Rubio is learning his way among the “wolves” and Rubio’s conservatism is being tested. Mainsteam Republicans do not like his kind of conservative principles that will get our country back on track.
    Floridians should be cautious not to forget that the goal is to defeat Obama by voting for the conservative who can best challenge him on all that has been done to further America’s decline. Gov. Perry remains my first choice because of a much needed energy policy for our country. Anybody but Obama is what we should all be concerned with and we have been given an excellent field of candidates. Do not forget Conservatives must add seats to the House of Representatives and take back control of the Senate.

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  • http://www.sunshinestatesarah.com Sunshine State Sarah
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  • Carlos

    Are all of you so deluded as to think Marco’s not establishment and a
    true Tea Party guy? Wake up. That’sadi, he’s still a conservative who scarss the hell outta the left. Why? Because he’s a handsome Cuban Cuaucasian, clean, articulate (jab at Bite Me) and not your stereotypical “Julio”. But, worst of all, he never had to kiss the asses of vermin like Charlie Rangel to make it big in record time.
    So he represents a total explosion of the myth that we latinos must be on the Dems’ plantation to get ahead.