Published: Oct 22, 2010 3:21 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 22, 2010 12:21 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - A lot has changed since Republican Marco Rubio entered the Senate race. One thing that hasn't is his message.

Last year, Rubio had little money, three staffers and considered it a good day if he drew a crowd of 80 and raised $1,000. Few in the media or GOP establishment took his candidacy seriously.

Since then he drove Gov. Charlie Crist out of the primary and set fundraising records. He now has no problem getting media attention and GOP leaders are firmly behind him.

His message, though, has been consistent.

It boils down to this: America is heading in the wrong direction, spending and debt will weaken the country and President Barack Obama's policies, from the federal stimulus to the health care overhaul, are disastrous.