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When a French TV station set out to understand the American phenomenon known as the tea party, it sent a reporter to Florida, down a dusty country road, past a bug-swarmed pond, and into a Pasco County pasture filled with people waving American flags.

It was Oct. 30, three days before Election Day. The crowd had come to Hallelujah Acres Ranch to hear Republican Senate nominee Marco Rubio, frequently hailed — and claimed — as one of the tea party’s biggest success stories.

But the typically unflappable candidate seemed uncomfortable with the French reporter’s questions about his tea party ties, as he did when an admirer asked him to autograph a tea party banner.

Marco Rubio a Teabagger? Whatever would have given you that idea? If by “Tea Party” you mean “Wants To Run For President Some Day Party,” then yes, he is a member, but only if that’s what you mean. [Miami Herald]

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