Rubio drops off Romney bus after daughter’s accident

Holly Bailey
National Correspondent
The Ticket

LAKEWOOD CREST, Fla.—Florida Sen. Marco Rubio abruptly dropped off Mitt Romney's campaign bus just east of Tampa Saturday evening after word that his 12-year-old daughter had been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Miami and airlifted to a local hospital.

According to his office, Rubio, who had been campaigning with Romney in Florida today, was alerted about his daughter Amanda's accident just after leaving the stage at Romney's second rally of the day in Kissimmee, according his spokesman Alex Conant.

According to Conant, Amanda Rubio, who is the oldest of the senator's four children, was airlifted to Miami Children's Hospital and is listed in stable condition. He did not provide any further details about the accident.

But Rubio still boarded Romney's bus as it headed toward the third and final event of the day in Land O'Lakes, Fla—and stayed on the bus for more than an hour. Around 6:45pm, Romney's motorcade abruptly pulled off Interstate 4, and Rubio was seen exiting Romney's campaign bus.

A moment later, Rubio hopped over a highway barricade, where a Florida Highway Patrol car waited. After standing outside the car for a few minutes, Rubio jumped into the patrol car, which sped away with its lights flashing. A Rubio spokesman said the senator was en route to Miami.

Asked later why Rubio had remained on the Romney bus instead of heading straight to Miami after the GOP nominee's second event, Romney spokesman Rick Gorka said the senator decided to take a flight that had already been "pre-arranged" from a Tampa airport.

He said the GOP candidate had Rubio's daughters in his prayers, but offered no further comment.