Orlando, Florida (CNN) - No longer a conservative insurgent struggling for money and attention, Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio is working hard to win over the independent voters so crucial to Florida elections.
But Rubio says he'll still welcome some of the conservative luminaries who endorsed him in the early days of his candidacy as he hits the general election campaign trail this fall.
Asked Monday at a campaign stop in Orlando if he'd campaign alongside prominent Republicans like Jim DeMint, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin, Rubio said: "Absolutely."
"Anyone who wants to work with us to accomplish the things we believe in, we're going to work with them," Rubio told CNN, outlining his firm opposition to President Obama's fiscal agenda.
Rubio said he is the same candidate he was when he entered the race in 2009 as an under-funded long-shot primary opponent to Gov. Charlie Crist, then the choice of national Republicans to replace Mel Martinez in the Senate.
"I can tell you the speech I gave here today and the speech I gave on the stump is indistinguishable from the one we gave 18 months ago, and I would challenge anyone out there to prove otherwise," he said.
"Our message is the same one was it was in the beginning," he added. "It's not a personal message. I'm not angry at anyone. I just think Washington is taking our country in the wrong direction, and we need more people in Washington who will stand up to it and offer an alternative."
In the November election, Rubio will face Crist, now running as an independent, and the winner of Tuesday's Democratic primary between Rep. Kendrick Meek and billionaire investor Jeff Greene.
Crist leads Rubio and Meek by a 39-32-16 margin, according to a Quinnipiac University survey released last week. If Greene is the Democratic nominee, Crist leads the pack 40-32-15.