‘Flavor of the month’ Rubio vows to focus on job, stay groundedby George Bennett | November 3rd, 2010
CORAL GABLES — Marco Rubio’s Senate victory has made him a national superstar, with pundits calling him the face of the new GOP and a key to reaching Hispanic voters. Before the results were all in Tuesday night, cable chatterers were also musing about Rubio as a potential vice presidential or presidential candidate in the future.
Rubio, who won’t be sworn in for another two months, downplayed such talk at a news conference today.
“It’s flattering and it’s fleeting,” Rubio told reporters at the Biltmore Hotel. “Politics is full of one-hit wonders, of people that stood in a room like this with a bunch of cameras and you don’t hear from them anymore. The truth is that soon you will all go off and cover something else and there’ll be somebody else out there who’s the flavor of the month.
” And I will still be a U.S. Senator. And people of Florida deserve to be represented and I’m going to have to continue to work hard….It’s not going to get to my head. In life one of the things that keeps you grounded is you surround yourself with people that are willing to tell you when you’re really doing something dumb. And I have been blessed with an abundance of people that are willing to do that.”
As he did in his victory speech Tuesday night, Rubio said triumphant Republicans should stick to their principles or they’ll be booted by voters — again.
“This is a party that years ago — not so long ago, in the last decade — ran on a certain set of principles and values and ideas and within 10 years of being in the majority became indistinguishable from the Democrats they had replaced. That cannot happen again. If it happens again, we will find ourselves on the other end of the pendulum come the next election cycle,” Rubio said.
Since his victory, Rubio said he’s talked with Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Sen. George LeMieux, the appointee whose seat Rubio will fill. He said he’s also spoken with Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell and former Florida Sens. Bob Graham and Connie Mack.