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Lincoln Diaz-Balart: "Seriously considering" Crist's request

Lincoln Diaz-Balart said today he's "seriously considering" Gov. Charlie Crist's request to fill out an application to fill retiring Sen. Mel Martinez's term.

Crist said Friday he'll ask as many as 7 people to fill out the application. Diaz-Balart's name has sparked interest because his appointment would leave his congressional seat wide open, prompting speculation that his brother, Mario, could run for his seat and that Crist's GOP rival, Marco Rubio, would run for Mario's seat.

The Florida Democratic Party has questioned whether Lincoln would quit early to run for president of Cuba, should the Castro brothers exit the scene. Speculation has long followed Diaz-Balart that the job he really wants is the presidency of Cuba.

During last year's re-election campaign, Diaz-Balart told the Herald he finds speculation about his presidential aspirations offensive.

"That's an insult to those who today are in Fidel Castro's dungeons," he said in an interview. "Those are the heroes of Cuba. Those who have given their freedom, their blood, they are the ones who have earned the presidency."