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Rubio Hires Key Romney Aide Out From Under Jeb

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Florida Senator and prospective candidate for the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination Marco Rubio picked up a key Mitt Romney aide, Jim Merrill, “to oversee his political activities in the Northeast and probably in a New Hampshire campaign.”

Merrill ran the show in both of Romney’s New Hampshire primary efforts. He’s viewed as something of a hot commodity in GOP circles.

In landing Mr. Merrill, Mr. Rubio has not only brought on a strategist with deep experience organizing in New Hampshire, but also someone who was being pursued by other Republican presidential hopefuls. Mr. Merrill, who is based in Manchester, was sought out by a number of potential candidates, including Jeb Bush.

That Rubio was able to hire him out from under Jeb Bush isn’t a good sign for the former Florida governor. Bush fatigue has kept the field tight despite Jeb’s ability to draw on his family’s network of influential Republicans.

With big donors watching closely to see if Jeb can break out of the pack, Team Bush can’t be thrilled with the Rubio hire.


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