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Candidates pay homage to Hispanic leaders, Rubio

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January 26, 2012 09:36 PM EST | AP


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The GOP presidential candidates say they'd involve a number of top Hispanic GOP office holders in their Cabinet – and three say they're particularly impressed with Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio.

Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney all name-checked Rubio, the Florida senator elected in 2010. He is a tea party favorite and widely viewed as a potential vice presidential nominee.

Gingrich is implying he would look hard at Rubio as his vice presidential nominee. Santorum and Romney both mentioned Rubio as a top Hispanic leader.

The candidates also mentioned New Mexico Gov. Barbara Martinez and Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval among other prominent Hispanic leaders.

Their responses came after a question on what Hispanic leaders they would involve in their Cabinet.