POLITICS
09/25/2013 12:24 am ET | Updated Sep 25, 2013

Marco Rubio Ditches Ted Cruz Speech For Fundraiser

AP

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) left Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) hours-long Senate speech against Obamacare Tuesday to attend a fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R), according to the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century.

After speaking on the Senate floor, and noting that Cruz "may be here all night," Rubio abandoned the anti-Obamacare marathon for a fundraising reception at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington.

Rubio was joined by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R) at the fundraiser. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) cancelled last-minute.

After Rubio completed his roughly 15-minute Senate speech, Cruz thanked him, saying, "You inspire me." Cruz went on to say Rubio's "transformational" victory in 2010 was not unlike the fight to defund Obamacare.

"When he started, he was at 3 percent in the polls -- a condition I know well because two years later I found myself in a very similar position," Cruz said. "And yet he ran a campaign where he crisscrossed the state of Florida, listening to the Florida people and getting support form the grassroots. And his victory in 2010 was a transformational moment in American politics. And it's also emblematic of what this fight is about right here."

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