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UPDATED Government shutdown? Marco Rubio gets 'slowdown' turbulence on flight

@PatriciaMazzei

Sen. Marco Rubio probably wished he was a face in the crowd rather than the face of Florida Republicans in Congress when he boarded his flight Monday morning from Miami to Washington D.C.

Passenger after passenger recognized Rubio and gave him an earful about the looming federal government shutdown being precipitated by Congress, a source on the flight tells us.

Except Rubio sought to downplay the issue and sympathize with constituents.

At one point, a flight attendant asked him if the partial government shutdown would, in fact, begin at midnight.

Rubio responded by calling the likely impasse "not really a shutdown, more of a slowdown -- but not a good way to do business."

UPDATE In an email, Rubio spokeswoman Brooke Sammon denied the passenger's version of the events, though she declined to elaborate. She also said Rubio was unavailable to tell his side or to discuss the shutdown vote. He has issued a statement blasting Democrats over the shutdown.

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