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Marco Rubio: "Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist."

Newt Gingrich's decision today to bash Mitt Romney for hiring former Charlie Crist loyalists and employees doesn't seem to be sitting well with Sen. Marco Rubio, who drove Crist out of the Republican Party before beating him at the polls in 2010.

Said Rubio: "Mitt Romney is no Charlie Crist. Romney is a conservative. and he was one of the first national Republican leaders to endorse me. He came to Florida, campaigned hard for me, and made a real difference in my race."

Rubio's also a fan of Gingrich, incidentally. Gingrich helped Rubio promote his 100 Ideas for Florida's Future book and helped Rubio elevate his profile nationally when he was Florida House Speaker.

Former Rubio loyalists work for both camps, namely Jose Mallea (Gingrich's Florida campaign manager) and Alberto Martinez (a Romney senior adviser in Florida). One difference: Martinez never worked for Crist. Martinez was a top staffer in the state House Republican office in 2007-2008 when Rubio was House Speaker and clashed with Crist over property tax cuts and gambling.