There’s something of a scuffle going on in Florida right now over the 2010 election of Marco Rubio and the hiring of Charlie Crist’s Florida staff by the Romney campaign. Newt implicitly is tying Romney to Crist.
Rubio, who has not endorsed anyone, in response, says that Romney is not Crist, and asserts that Romney was “one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me….”
It’s probably not a good idea for any Republican candidate in Florida to cross Rubio, even indirectly, but the reality is that Romney and Newt endorsed Rubio within days of each other in late April, 2010.
By that time, Rubio already had been endorsed by Tom Coburn, Rudy Guiliani and Mike Huckabee, had been leading in the polls for well over a month, and Crist’s approval rating among Florida Republicans was down to 28%. Newt already was touting Rubio prior to that and also formally endorsed Rubio within days of Romney, as did Dick Cheney and many others.
Neither Romney nor Newt deserve credit for helping launch Rubio.
That credit goes to the folks at Not One Red Cent and a handful of other bloggers who started backing Rubio in 2009, when no one believed.