By Javier ManjarresOur 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:
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.
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.
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.
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.