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Rubio tries to lay low on SC fundraising trip

From CNNA political fundraising trip doesn't typically generate the kind of buzz that Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio stirred up with their "Conservative Comeback" tour of South Carolina on Monday. The Republican duo -- one an outspoken Senator from South Carolina prone to irking members of his own party, the other a Florida Senate candidate and golden boy of the conservative movement -- announced their joint three-city tour last month with a sleek Web site,, that sounded suspiciously like a future presidential ticket. Campaign aides for Rubio's opponent in the GOP Senate primary in Florida, Gov. Charlie Crist, accused Rubio of arrogantly harboring national ambitions by traveling to a crucial presidential primary state before he'd even won his first statewide race. Aware of the potentially uncomfortable imagery of a hotshot Senate candidate glad-handing in a state known as a White House launching pad, aides to Rubio and DeMint were quick to downplay the trip shortly after it was announced, calling it a routine fundraising effort. That concern was likely a chief reason why Rubio, the former Florida House Speaker who commands a healthy lead against Crist in recent polls, was largely invisible to members of the media during the South Carolina swing, which took the pair to Charleston, Columbia and Greenville...An agreeable Rubio did chat briefly Monday with a CNN reporter, but only when he was met emerging from an elevator with his suitcase at his Charleston hotel.