Mitch Perry Report 3.3.14: Time for Rubio "comeback"?

CPAC begins later this week in Washington D.C. That's the annual late-winter conservative confab put on by the American Conservative Union. The three-day event (Thursday-thru-Saturday) brings together thousands of activists to hear dozens of Republican leaders speak about everything from economics and foreign policy to social issues.

In addition to a lot of policy wonks, the event brings out the stars of the conservative movement — including the once (and future?) star Marco Rubio.

Although inclement weather in the nation's capital led to a cancellation of a speech he was making on new economic growth today, the Florida Republican has been asserting himself back into the national spotlight a lot in recent weeks, including laying out an eight-point plan on what the U.S. and the West should do in the aftermath of Russian troops entering the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.

You might remember Rubio landing in the Tea Party's doghouse after he championed comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate last year. You also might remember he's apparently run away from that same bill, which he co-sponsored, once he started receiving that conservative heat. Many articles were written about his precipitous drop in stature, with even some liberal writers expressing sympathy that he'd been hung out to dry by mainstream Republicans.

So is now the time for a "comeback?" That's what Politico
is speculating. Reporter Manu Raju writes, "His new push seems to have won over one-time skeptics who are now more open to a prospective Rubio candidacy."

And that's a candidacy for president, in case you've forgotten. One thing's for sure — Democrats don't believe he's irrelevant. The DNC blasted Rubio for a comment he made on Meet The Press yesterday about that anti-gay law Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed last week, saying he always tries to have it "both ways" when it comes to discrimination issues.

In any event, the 42-year-old Rubio did take some chances on immigration. But it remains questionable how often he'll choose to work with Democrats in the future if he's serious about being viable in 2016. If he does, you can bet it will be on something less politically dangerous than immigration reform.

In other news...
And of course there's just eight days left in the special CD13 election between David Jolly, Alex Sink and Lucas Overby. If you missed the final televised debate of the campaign that aired over the weekend on WEDU, here's our report.

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