Yesterday, after Miami Rep. David Rivera made it official that he supported Republican candidate Newt Gingrich, the anonymous conservative whisper campaign began. They pointed out that Rivera, the only one of the three Republican representatives from Miami not to endorse Mitt Romney, had been dogged by state and federal investigations owing to investigative reports in The Miami Herald.
But, by this standard, the Republicans’ beloved Senator, Florida’s Marco Rubio, needs some new furniture. Rivera isn’t just an ally of Rubio’s. He’s a close family friend, like an uncle to Rubio’s kids.
When Rubio was Florida House Speaker, Rivera was his Rules Chairman and political enforcer. When the network Univision put Rubio’s family in a tough spot, Rivera almost single-handedly got the various Republican presidential campaigns to boycott a proposed debate by Univision in retaliation. At one point, Rivera went so far as to buttonhole Rep. Michele Bachmann on the U.S. House floor to ensure she’d back the boycott.
Last month, when Rubio’s political committee held a fundraiser, Rivera arrived with the senator and his wife in their SUV. He then introduced Rubio, who sticks by the friends who stick by him.
Published: Jan 15, 2012