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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, who has promised an announcement in Miami on April 13th regarding his presidential candidacy intentions, may have to move the venue.
It has been widely reported that Rubio intended to deliver his speech at the iconic Freedom Tower in downtown Miami. It would be an appropriate venue, given Rubio’s history as the son of immigrants who pulled himself up by his bootstraps to achieve the American dream.
But Rubio’s advance team may not be a dream team.
Politico.com reports Rubio has scheduled his speech to guarantee live coverage in the evening news. There is a hitch. The same evening, the Miami Heat is scheduled to play across the street from the Freedom Tower at the American Airlines Arena. The two events could make for a traffic and parking nightmare. So Rubio’s people are looking for a possible alternate location.
Politico’s Marc Caputo reports a venue at the top of alternate sites is the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. It might be an awkward choice.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, an all but announced candidate for the presidency, maintains a full-time office for his real estate and development business at the Biltmore. Bush’s home is just down the street and around the corner from the Biltmore.
Assuming Rubio does announce he’s running for president, and assuming he does it at the Biltmore, it would amount to the political equivalent of the Cleveland Cavaliers scheduling a home game at the Heat’s arena.
Neither the Rubio nor Bush camps would comment on the venue issue Wednesday.
A desk clerk at the Biltmore had no knowledge of Rubio operatives casing the place, but Politico reports three Rubio staffers inspected the property Tuesday.
The concierge at the Biltmore told CBS4’s Gary Nelson, the hotel would welcome a Rubio event where Bush spends much of his time.
“Why not? We’d love it,” the concierge said.
As for any unpleasantness arising from the possible proximity of a Rubio announcement to Jeb’s digs, the concierge said it is not a concern.
“Not at the Biltmore. Never,” he said, smiling.