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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Top Rubio Staffer Reportedly Pushed for Early Florida Primary to Help Romney

Hot Air: Update: Rubio camp denies

If true, this is very distressing. Rubio is supposed to be a conservative and Romney is Obama lite. Are there any politicians that can be trusted? Are there any politicians that want to live by the Constitution of he United States? More and more, I think not. - Reggie

When Florida defied Republican National Committee rules to move the state’s 2012 presidential primary from an RNC-approved March date to Jan. 31, conservatives immediately suspected that state party insiders had orchestrated the move to help former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney thwart the momentum of Tea Party-backed candidate Herman Cain. Some Florida activists focused their suspicion on moderates in state party leadership – allies of Senate candidate George LeMieux and of former Gov. Charlie Crist — as orchestrating the change in the primary date. The move was seen as helping the centrist Romney, whose superior fund-raising resources would enable him to score an early knockout in the Sunshine State before Cain could fully leverage the boost he got from an upset victory in a Sept. 24 Florida GOP straw poll.

Yet while the moderate Republican faction in Tallahassee was immediately blamed for the primary date-switch, only insiders knew that a key factor was a push from inside the staff of the Tea Party’s own 2010 hero, Sen. Marco Rubio. 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.”

Conda’s loyalty to Romney was highlighted in a Politico story by Scott Wong last week: “At least six past and current Rubio Senate aides, including chief of staff Cesar Conda and his deputy, Terry Sullivan, worked for Romney’s 2008 presidential bid, establishing a direct link and a line of communication between the front-runner for the 2012 GOP nomination and the front-runner in the Republican veepstakes. There’s also a trail of fundraisers, donors and consultants who have overlapping relationships with Rubio and Romney.”

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