News is spreading throughout Florida this morning that Marco Rubio’s former chief of staff has endorsed — and will be campaigning with — Jeb Bush (see Richard Corcoran, former Marco Rubio chief of staff, endorses Jeb Bush for president):
When Jeb Bush campaigns through the Sunshine State on Monday he will be joined by a powerful Florida politician many will be surprised to see at his side.
Richard Corcoran, the Florida House Speaker Designate and former chief of staff to then-House Speaker Marco Rubio, is endorsing Bush’s bid for the White House.
“I have known Jeb Bush for over 20 years,” Corcoran says in a release sent to FloridaPolitics.com and POLITICO. “As Governor, Jeb Bush set the standard against which all other conservatives in this state are measured – no one in Florida would argue that. Jeb Bush always stepped up and was true to his principles, even if that meant facing difficult consequences. I saw him in moments when it would have been easy to cave to the special interests and just go along with the status quo; yet he never did.”
This endorsement is hugely significant. Not only does Corcoran solidly endorse Jeb, calling him, “without question, the most courageous, conservative in this race,” but he goes on to add, “That’s what I want in a leader, and what I know the electorate deserves. When the people of this country get to know the Jeb Bush that I know, they will have no doubt that he is the right choice to become the next President of the United States.”
Corcoran joins every Florida House Speaker in the modern Republican era — with the exception of two (Rubio and Johnnie Byrd) — in backing Jeb Bush (see Florida House speakers line up in support of Jeb Bush). That would be Dean Cannon, Larry Cretul, Allan Bense, Tom Feeney, John Thrasher, and Daniel Webster.
But there’s more. The Corcoran endorsement is important because:
First, it is an endorsement from a significant Florida pol nearly a week AFTER Bush’s widely-panned debate performance. Asking Corona to campaign with him is the clearest sign yet that Bush has no plans to drop out of the race.
Second, Corcoran’s endorsement is an ‘Et tu, Brute’ moment: as a former top adviser to Rubio, the argument can be made that few know Rubio’s abilities — and limitations — as a leader than Corcoran.
Jeb is in the race for the duration and this slaps aside his detractors. Stay tuned….
Photo by Jean Gannon