The next Marco Rubio? Meet Adam Hasner

Adam Hasner was born in Brooklyn, New York to two Jewish, lifelong Democrats who also happened to be public school teachers. Yet in the 2012 race for U.S. Senate in Florida, Hasner is running as the “authentic” conservative.

While he may cause the most die-hard Republicans to do a double-take to make sure someone with his Democratic pedigree is truly devoted to limited government and free markets, Hasner swears he’s as genuine as they come.

“When I say I’m an authentic conservative, it’s because when you look at who I am and where I come from, it’d be a lot easier to have grown up a Democrat,” Hasner said in an interview with The Daily Caller. Despite that, Hasner attributes his conservatism to the fact that he “came of age during the time of Ronald Reagan.”

“Right now we need more Republicans who are not only prepared to take on Democrats, but take on Republicans when they stray,” Hasner told TheDC. “I don’t blame just Democrats for the problems we face today,” he explained. “I think Republican share in blame. That’s why we need leaders in Washington who will have courage to challenge both Democrats and Republicans.”

It’s an attitude that Hasner said goes back to his days in the Florida legislature, where he served for eight years (during which time he was handpicked by Marco Rubio to serve as majority leader of the Florida House from 2007-2010). “Even when [Governor Charlie] Crist and others from the moderate wing said the best way to beat Democrats was to join them, I was standing firm on principle saying Republicans don’t need to be less partisan,” Hasner said.

If he makes it to Washington, Hasner said he will be a strong advocate of passing a balanced budget amendment, as well as term limits (he was term limited out of the state House). He has, in fact, already pledged to only serve two terms in the U.S. Senate should be get elected in 2012.

He also thinks the birther issue is a sideshow. “I operate under the belief that President Obama was born in this country,” said Hasner. “I think this has become a distraction, primarily instigated by the left and by some in the media.”

But while the Florida Republican Senate primary will likely prove to be a tough one, Hasner already appears to have the some early advantages over the current field. So far, that field includes former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, who was appointed to the Senate by former Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist to fill the seat vacated by Mel Martinez in 2009, and state Senate President Mike Haridopolos.