(CNN) – Marco Rubio, a senator whose name was floated first as a possible presidential, then vice presidential candidate, on Wednesday made an endorsement in the presidential race, saying, "It's evidently and increasingly clear that Mitt Romney is going to become the Republican nominee."
"We have to come together behind who I think has earned the nomination, and that's Mitt Romney," Rubio said of the former Massachusetts governor in an appearance on Fox News.
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The primary process has been "very good," Rubio said, and the candidates "have a lot to be proud of."
"But I think we are at a stage where two of the candidates have openly admitted, the only way they can win a nomination is to have a floor fight in Tampa in August," Rubio said. "I don't think there is anything good about that. There is no way that a floor fight at the convention in Tampa in August is a recipe for a win in November. On the contrary, I think it's a recipe for disaster."
Rubio, a first term U.S. senator and tea party favorite who previously served a decade in the Florida state House, has repeatedly discouraged suggestions that he would join the GOP ticket. In the interview, he said he and Romney have talked, but "never about vice president, or anything like that." It is a suggestion he downplayed in an earlier interview.
"I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee but I'm always flattered when people bring it up," he said Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC. "I think they mean it as a compliment."
It is a ticket that another Romney endorser and Floridian would like to see. Former Gov. Jeb Bush, who is described as a mentor of Rubio, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier this month that Rubio is the "best orator of American politics today, a good family man."
Bush's father, former President George H.W. Bush, is to endorse Romney on Thursday.
Romney thanked Rubio for the endorsement in a statement e-mailed to reporters.
"Marco Rubio is living proof that the American dream is still very much alive," said Mitt Romney. "From humble origins, he has risen to become one of the brightest lights in our political party. He has been a leading voice in the U.S. Senate and the country for the cause of restoring American greatness. He knows that the way forward is to end excessive regulations, shrink government, and get our economy growing. He understands that the way to strengthen our communities is to strengthen our families. He recognizes the dangers that will face America if we fail to maintain our military power. He understands how critical it is to bring new leadership to the White House."
Ahead of the Florida primary in January, Rubio would not predict a winner, but did say he expected the victor in his state to eventually be the nominee.
"I'm not going to speculate as to who's going to win," Rubio told CNN's Soledad O'Brien then. "Here's what I'm comfortable saying. I think the winner of Florida is in all likelihood going to be the nominee of our party. Florida is a mini-America. Virtually every issue we want them to be conversant on is a discussion we've had in Florida."
Romney went on to win the Sunshine state with a 14-point win over former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and per state party rules, all 50 delegates.
Gingrich faults fundraising for campaign changes
Poll: Obama leads narrowly in Florida, Ohio
republicans would have to put on the table a complete replacement for obamacare and pass it in the house before I would even consider voting for any of their candidates. They had thier chance under Bush's time frame and did nothing, my bet is they don't have the guts to do it this time either
Republican have all signed the Norquist "no tax increase" pledge which essentially prevents them from doing their job which is to listen to the arguments, look for common ground and negotiate, and legislate. You can't do any of that if you've already made up your mind and will be penalized if you violate the pledge. Republicans have all rolled in manure and they stink. They all have to be voted out of office in order to send a message to businesses who want to buy legislation.
@ Dave – I agree with you. The GOP has been successful in FL with their voter suppression laws. They may win FL in Nov because of that, but that would be the only reason
Most Cubans are still upset with Democrats over the Bay of Pigs. That one issue will always give Republicans the Cuban vote.
That and the fact that Cubans are renowned racists, even against Black Cubans. An African-American President, therefore, doesn't stand a chance of getting the Cuban vote. Even one who is half-White. There, I said it.
can't wait for the republican convention this will be a great show. All the clowns in one place. Watch how they will fall over each other. Reality Tv at its best bring on the pop corn and soda. Maybe we can turn it into a series like the Office.
Why is it that all of these right wing, privileged, chickenhawk republicans look like they've never worked a day in their lives? They all look like soft, pudgy, spoiled mommas boys. Rubio, gingrich, walker, romney, rove, etc.. let them work for a living for one year, and then maybe they'd understand why unions were created, and the importance of healthcare.
If Rubio is Romney's likely mate, then we will see two Mormons (one ex) on the same ticket. It'll be interesting how they will both convince people to vote for them. Both are flip-floppers. One flip-flops on all issues and ther flip-flopped on religion.
Mittens is going to pull this dude in to be his number two and it will be a BIG MISTAKE!!! I really hope he learn from McCain that you just can't pick someone without really knowing what they are about!! Rubio is not one you want on the ticket.
Rub asking tis every couple years, Whats gotta be better Political team, Tabby nackle, ok how bout this election, Baptist, ok how bout these groups? Catholic, Ok how bout this election? Tabby naclke, Ok how bout these people? Baptist, What a SEVERLY flip floppin sellin your soul twin for Mr Personailty. VP ???
Mittens will "etch-a-sketch' himself back to a moderate for the election and pick Rubio in an attempt to pander to the Latino vote. All for the 1% and the 1% just for the 1%!