A tea party caucus “of U.S. senators convenes Thursday for the first time, but one of the movement’s biggest stars doesn’t plan to be there,” the Miami Herald reports.
The meeting – at least for now – is not on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s schedule, said spokesman Alex Burgos, who pointed out that the freshman senator had yet to make up his mind about joining any caucus.
"He’s proud of his relationship with the tea party movement," Burgos said. "He shares with the movement a commitment to tackling debt, defending the free enterprise system and restoring our limited government tradition. It’s the same case with other causes that have been brought to our attention, he hasn’t made any decision one way or the other."
The Shark Tank notes that the Senate “already has a Conservative Steering Committee run by Senator Jim DeMint, that Rubio states he will join.”
They provide the following response from Senator Rubio on this situation:
“Why do we need something in addition to the steering committee?…My concern is that politicians all of a sudden start co-opting the mantle of “Tea Party”. If all of a sudden being in the Tea Party is not something that is happening in Main Street, but rather something that’s happening in Washington D.C., the “Tea Party” all of a sudden becomes some sort of movement run by politicians…it’s gonna lose its effectiveness and I’m concerned about that. I think that the real power of the Tea Party comes from its ability to drive the debate and the issues from the grassroots up, as opposed to from the politicians down.”- Senator Marco Rubio