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Marco Rubio brings GOP hope with Hispanics but challenges remain

By Alex Leary

LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- Sorry, Washington superstar, Time magazine coverboy and hip-hop maven, she’s never heard of you.

“Marco Rubio?” said 28-year-old Memorie Annese, taking her daughters to a public library in this city tucked amid soaring mountains and the Rio Grande.

But the Mexican-American, school bus-driving union member who voted for President Barack Obama didn’t hesitate when asked if she would consider a Republican candidate with immigrant roots.

“Heck yeah — if he’s good,” Annese said. “There’s a connection.”

As the Florida senator explores a presidential run, her reaction undercuts Democratic assertions that non-Cuban Hispanics “don’t give a damn about Marco Rubio,” as Obama strategist David Plouffe said recently.

Interviews with voters in Hispanic-rich New Mexico, which Obama won twice, and Texas, a Republican bastion inching Democratic, suggest that Rubio could inspire goodwill and pride among minorities who shunned the GOP in the past two presidential elections.

“Having a president who is Hispanic, I can’t even explain it,” said Esmirna Corona, a college student in El Paso. “If people see Rubio is Hispanic, they’ll take time to check him out. With Mitt Romney, I was like no. Then I looked at his position on immigration and was like definitely not.”

More here.

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No More Rick Scott

Rick Scott's Columbia/HCA record on healthcare:

-Columbia billed Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Department's TRICARE health care program, and the Federal Employees' Health Benefits Program for lab tests that were not medically necessary or not ordered by physicians;
-The company attached false diagnosis codes to patient records in order to increase reimbursement to the hospitals;
-The company illegally claimed non-reimbursable marketing and advertising costs as community education;
-Columbia billed the government for home health care visits for patients who did not qualify to receive them.

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