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A 'wheeling and dealing Miami lobbyist'

Associated Press

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) hit the campaign trail today, appearing alongside Mitt Romney in Pennsylvania, and Romney's national press secretary, Andrea Saul, was only too pleased to show the two Republicans together.

But ABC's Jonathan Karl had an interesting catch, noting what Saul used to to say about Rubio, just a couple of years ago.

* "Rubio has proved he is just another typical politician who uses his public office for personal gain and only comes clean once caught."

* "With each passing day, voters are beginning to see the real Speaker Rubio, a tax raising Miami lobbyist-politician who has used public office for personal gain and political donations as a personal slush fund."

* "This Marco Rubio is a wheeling and dealing Miami lobbyist and politician, always trying to scam the system for his personal benefit."

* "Instead of answering all of the many questions surrounding his questionable spending habits, Speaker Rubio instead continues to do the Rubio hustle and refuses to release his tax returns in a timely manner."

All of these quotes came directly from Andrea Saul, Romney's press secretary, back when she was running a Republican against Rubio in Florida.

One assumes she's saying nicer things about the far-right senator today.

Still, there are some quotes that are tough to walk back. To hear Saul tell it, Rubio, as recently as 2010, was a corrupt scam artist who hid his tax returns. Saul is an experienced pro, and I'm sure if Rubio is chosen as Romney's running mate, she'll come up with a creative way to say she didn't mean any of the things she said just two years ago, but it won't be easy.

As Karl's report concluded, "[S]ome of the harshest things you will find said about Marco Rubio in the public record were said by the person who now speaks for Mitt Romney."