(CNN) - Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio's father has died, his campaign announced Saturday night. The Republican's campaign will be placed "on temporary hold" for a few days, according to a statement.
Citing his father's deteriorating health, Rubio on Friday withdrew from a debate with Democrat Kendrick Meek that was scheduled to take place Sunday morning on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Read Rubio's statement, after the jump:
"My father knew hard work and struggle from very early in his life. His mother died when he was only 9 years old. The day after his mother was buried he went to work with his father and did not stop working until he was 78 years old.
"He was by far the most unselfish person I have ever known, always focused on others, and never on his own well being. He was especially determined to provide his children opportunities he himself never had.
"My dad worked as a street vendor, security guard, apartment building manager and crossing guard. But for most of his life he was a bartender, and by all accounts a great one. But his greatest success came from the two most important jobs he ever had: husband and father.
"He was very proud of my public service. And over the last 18 months he became an expert channel surfer, constantly searching for my next television interview.
"I was blessed to be raised by a world class father. And I thank God for allowing my father to live long and healthy enough to see that the sacrifices he made for us were not in vain."
You heartless Democrats still want to say it was just an excuse? You should feel ashamed, those of you who called him names for going to spend the final moments with his father.
You have sympathy for the family, but you know he will get the sympathy vote. And that's what makes this sad.
His father labored so his son could be free to achieve his goals in life.
I am so glad that I did not take the baIt and bash Rubio when he first mentioned that his father was ill and he will not attend the debate!! But I did say CANCEL the debate until he was able to attend because I wanted to see a 'three-way debate'!!!
Now that his dad has passed, I still extend my prayers out to the family in this time of sorrow. May his dad R.I.P....................
NOW, as soon as time permits, ON WITH THE SHOW because this debate is going to be INTERESTING!!!!
Very sad for the family.
Now rubio will have no reason to avoid debates......
R.I.P. Mr. Rubio. hope the family finds peace through this difficult time
Wow all the hate from the left I heard when they were dogging him for not going to the debate! Real classy people!!
The other day on this blog all the lefties were dogging him for not going! You should feel bad but I know you don't . You so called compassionate dems are real classy. All the comments on the blog the other day but none on this story. Stay in hiding
Cmon dems were is all that negative talk now! You should all be ashamed of your selves for the hate y'all talked about when he said he couldn't make the debate
So where are all the great compassionate dims who accused him of using his father as an excuse to get out of Meet the Press. They were so vocal just a couple of days ago on this site.
Our thoughts and prayer are with you Marco.
nothing like politicizing your father death. if this gets mentioned in a commercial we will all know the type of person he truly is, an opportunist.
My prayer goes out to the Rubio family.
CNN you have to step up to the plate. The Republicans Tea Party candidates have short changing the free press by only appearing on Fox News and sending you their talking points to get their message out. We just had a disaster with the Iraq War by letting Fox News bully other media outlet in messaging. This must stop! for the sake of a free press society. Fox News has created it own new style of media just like China. CNN will you stand up for people who do not watch Fox "Fear" News. If their RepTea Party will not appear on your show give them hell. This is America their is no "Free Lunch". Keep it real.
Love how you right-wingers spew your hate at the left. And your hypocrisy is even richer. The comments you made toward Ted Kennedy and Keith Olbermann's dad will never be forgotten by us. You sick right-wingers had nothing but evil and horrible things to say. We gave Rubio the benefit of the doubt. Quit trying to manufacture more lies against us. Even Satan is getting sick of hearing them from you.
Most families wouldn't put out a "press eulogy", they would simply ask people to respect their privacy during these tough moments. This sounds like something Rubio wrote before his dad passed so he could make sure to milk the sympathy vote. You right-wingers showed your true feelings for the deceased when you all spoke so terribly of Ted Kennedy. Don't even try to act compassionate now you phonies.