Just in case you weren't sure, Florida Tea Party leadership says they still love Marco Rubio

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Although the ascendancy of both Marco Rubio and the Tea Party's influence in Florida (and national) politics occurred nearly simultaneously, the now freshman Republican Senator has always kept his alliance with those fervent grass roots activists at a certain distance.

He's never been critical of the group, but has always maintained to national political reporters that his conservative political philosophy transcends being labeled (as the NY Times Magazine attempted to do a year and a half ago). In fact, in retrospect, though Rubio has been tied to the tea party for well over a year, it's Florida's Governor, Rick Scott, who since his election victory has rushed to be in their clutches, which is certainly meaningful as those activists now represent his hardcore base at this still young phase of his candidacy.

So when Alex Leary of the St. Pete Times, in writing a story on Sunday about Rubio's stances on the immigration issue, quoted a couple of tea party folks of speaking critically towards their golden boy, higher ups in the movement fired back Sunday night, denouncing the piece as being "a typical Progressive Left narrative."