Rubio admits differences with Chamber over Cuba

Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio acknowledged Friday he and the Chamber of Commerce are in disagreement over Cuba policy, but said the business group is “buying into our agenda.”

“My ideas today are no different ... than they were when I go into the race,” Rubio said on a conference call Friday. “Folks are buying into our agenda, we’re not buying into their agenda.”

The Chamber will formally announce it’s backing Rubio at an event in Orlando on Saturday. But despite the bonhomie, there’s a major policy disagreement between the former state House speaker and the powerful business group. The Chamber has pushed for an end to the trade embargo on Cuba, something Rubio opposes.

“I think we do have a difference of opinion,” Rubio said.

Bill Miller, a vice president of the business group, echoed that assessment. “I think that this is a respectful disagreement,” Miller said. Both men emphasized their agreement on other policies.

Rubio said the endorsement is a sign that the GOP establishment is coming around to support his candidacy.

“Unfortunately, a year ago, many in my party weren’t ready to embrace that,” he said. “We now realize we don’t need two Democratic parties in America.”

Rubio said the newfound support hasn’t changed him.

“The difference is that there are more people helping us, and we welcome their support,” he said.

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