Rubio: Presidential candidates should only run for one office at a time
April 2nd, 2014
06:38 PM ET
4 months ago

Rubio: Presidential candidates should only run for one office at a time

(CNN) – Sen. Marco Rubio appeared to take a jab at Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday, saying candidates shouldn't run for the presidency while trying to hold onto their Senate seat.

"I think by and large, when you choose to do something as big as that, you’ve really got to be focused on that and not have an exit strategy,” the Florida Republican said on the Hugh Hewitt radio show.

Both lawmakers are considering presidential bids for 2016, when they’re also up for re-election to their Senate seats.

Rubio said Florida law prohibits candidates from being on the ballot for two different offices, a rule he described as "the right law."

Kentucky has a similar rule, but allies of Paul in the state’s GOP-controlled Senate passed a bill that would allow a candidate to simultaneously seek more than one office.

The legislation was introduced by state Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer, who told CNN last month he hopes Paul runs for President.

The bill, however, has not been taken up in the Democratic-controlled House.

Proponents of the legislation say the bill is simply trying to clear up language of the current law, which Thayer said is meant to apply only to state-level offices, not federal offices such as the presidency, the Senate or the House.

Doug Stafford, a political adviser for Paul, said last month, "We are not seeking to change the law, but rather to clarify that the Kentucky statute does not apply to federal elections."

Rubio was asked Wednesday if he would be in favor of a rule that would allow a candidate to seek the presidency but switch back to the Senate if the bid was unsuccessful.

"I haven't even thought that far ahead," Rubio said, before going on to make his comment disparaging exit strategies.

A spokesman for Paul declined to comment on Rubio’s remarks.

Running for dual offices isn’t unprecedented.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan ran for re-election to his seat in 2012 while serving as the GOP vice presidential nominee on Mitt Romney's ticket. Then-Sen. Joe Biden also ran for re-election in Delaware while simultaneously serving as Barack Obama's running mate in 2008.

In 2000, Joe Lieberman was reelected to his Senate seat in Connecticut while losing his bid for the vice presidency when he and Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee, lost the election to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

CNN's Ashley Killough, Steve Brusk, and Alan Silverleib contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Marco Rubio • Rand Paul
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    I like that Rand might run for two offices – will be a pleasure to see him lose both. Can't wait for "I'm committed to the people of Kentucky unless I get a better gig".

    April 2, 2014 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    "I think by and large, when you choose to do something as big as that, you’ve really got to be focused on that and not have an exit strategy,”

    While I agree that a presidential candidate should only run for one office at a time, suggesting that having an exit strategy as a bad thing was a poor choice of words. I guess Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld having no exit strategy for Iraq was awesome.

    April 2, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Pete

    Well this time boys ,girls most of these rightwing radicals might just lose both seats and be sent packing at midterms.Remember what republicans have done for America,its constituents since Pres.Obamas inaugeration,nothing and vote appropriately like I said before in sending them packing...Don't tell me they're for the people because they voted again their own measures to keep the obstructionism going and the ACA filled with republicans ideas was just one of them besides voting against jobs,infastructure bills numerous times,too many to count...

    April 2, 2014 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. Remember Iraq?

    Rubio thinks when you do something big you shouldn't have an exit strategy. Where have I heard something like that before

    April 2, 2014 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  5. Thomas

    For once I agree with Rubio .
    Rand Paul is two face's on a corn dog .

    April 3, 2014 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. Michael MN

    Oh come on now – we all know in the Private sector my current employer will gladley pay me for a year while I look for another job – oh wait I was thinking I was a politician

    April 3, 2014 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  7. Marie MD

    I finally agree with something the Cuban water boy has to say.
    You can't make it with the big boys you have no job to come back to. Just like anybody else who wants another job and if it doesn't work out they don't want you back.

    April 3, 2014 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  8. Tampa Tim

    It has been said that Rubio could not walk and chew gum at the same time, so he won't be running for two offices in 2016. Another hurdle dealt with, clearing the way for Adelson's candidate, Jebby.

    April 3, 2014 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  9. Gurgyl

    --some thing like this aspect must be enshrined in the Election Laws, with term-limits to congress/senate too read with voter Laws.

    April 3, 2014 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  10. Name jk. Sfl. THE KOCH BROTHERS GOP STOOGES PARTY NEEDS to be VOTED OUT IN NOVEMBER !!!!

    This GOP SAVIOR is just trying to clear the field for HIMSELF and probably won't even be realected to the senate in his next election, he only represents the Cubans and the teaparty IDIOTS. What about the REST of Florida voters Rubio ?????

    April 3, 2014 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  11. salty dog

    That law is in my way, come on guys, let's change it so I can do whatever I want. This behavior is all to common for the gop, yet they scream about the darn democrats changing your constitution, shameless, and predictable.

    April 3, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |