Rubio endorses Romney, argues GOP should 'come together'
March 28th, 2012
10:19 PM ET
11 years ago

Rubio endorses Romney, argues GOP should 'come together'

(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.

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Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Like most republicans in Florida, Rubio is an embarrassment. He is the brain child of Jeb, and rode the Dick Armey bagger express to an undeserved senate win.

    March 28, 2012 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Sorensen

    Who is Rubio again? What of any consequence did he ever do?

    March 28, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  3. Paul Ernest Show

    Good idea. GOP has made religion an issue for decades. Now it's time to unravel the hypocrisy of their false belief and teach them a few things about this idea of God and the gospel. For the first time, the GOP is about to introduce Americans to idolatry, because Romney's religion is in strict opposition to evangelical views. I guess, they are trying out the idea of feasting with the "devil". At least, they are moving away from their once extremist views. The shoes are now on their feet. I don't see how evangelicals can accommodate Romney without compromising their biblical views. Interesting to watch.

    March 28, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  4. TomNPitt

    So many things here! Romney hasn't earned anything yet. He doesn't have the delegates – he hasn't earned or won anything yet! Just because Rubio, taking orders from the Bushes and the Republican Elitists, says it's over – doesn't make it so. I thought George Bush was backing Rick Perry!! lastly – which Rubio American Dream are we going with now? The won he used before the election, or the one we've heard now? Was he a Muslim or a Mormon when he was young? I forget – they're just about the same, right?

    March 28, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  5. Martin

    Just like Jeb Bush, too little, too late. He waited to see which way the popular vote was breaking before endorsing, didn't want to make a mistake by endorsing the wrong guy.

    If he had of endorsed him before the Florida primary, it might have mattered. Now, a Florida politician endorsing a GOP Pres Candidate has little or zero impact on the race.

    March 28, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  6. Larry L

    It seems that the Tea Party favorites are starting to crumble under the pressure from the Koch brothers et. al. They now "like" this liberal-moderate-conservative-pro-life-pro-abortion rights-pro-Obamacare-anti-Obamacare candidate. The fatcats always get what they want in the Republican arena. Fortunately, the moderates and rational independents won't buy it. They won't accept the "fact" that the exact same people who dug this hole should be placed back into office – especially after they've tried to obstruct every attempt to help Americans crawl out of this hole!

    March 28, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I'd really have to wonder if this is just some shallow attempt to garner votes in Florida. Rubio hasn't shown that he is ready to do much of anything.

    March 28, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  8. jocko

    Does someone want to be the VP candidate? Remember what happened to your brother Sarah.

    March 28, 2012 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  9. aaamadeinusa

    Why didn't Rubio "endorse" Romney when it mattered which was before the Florida primary? The answer is it takes conviction and truly standing for what you believe in regardless of what others are thinking and whether or not it suits you politically. He took the safe, easy way out by not "endorsing" anyone until it was safe to do so. He is like Obama in being a good orator and has the ability to "move" people with words but he is unfortunately a coward so this "endorsement" means nothing or should mean nothing but most will not see the difference or care and so the sheep will continue to be led instead of making a stand of their own. This is how it has been for thousands of yeasrs and doesn't look as if it will be changing anytime soon..

    March 28, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. socathy1

    The GOP ignored the votes of women and minorities, landslide for Obama. No woman will admit openly to her conservative husband that she would vote for Obama, but I guarantee a lot of the wives of these Repubs will be pulling the handle for having control over own fertility. Take away our birth control and call us bad names while ignoring the role men play in these games? Nope.

    March 28, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  11. 2Sliqq

    Who's Rubio?

    March 28, 2012 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  12. blake

    Looks like Rubio is gunning for a VP role with Romney. It would give a double boost to Romney's presidential aspiration - a solid conservative and an Hispanic.

    March 28, 2012 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  13. marinedad05


    It's evidently and increasingly clear that Mitt Romney is going to become the Republican nominee, and Rubio wants to be his running mate!

    March 28, 2012 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  14. Jane

    Okay they're all lining up in their little suits and power ties to suck up to Romney: Santorum (even tho for the last six months he's been telling America how awful Romney is), Jeb (give it up – sane people won't let a Bush within 100 miles of the W.H.), Daniels (wants it so bad you can smell it through the tv screen), Christie (has to go somewhere – everyone in N.J. hates his guts). Good thing it's a moot point.

    March 29, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  15. R1983

    I do not trust pretty boy floyd or Romney, there are something about these two guys that people just don't
    trust, Romney will say or do anything to get elected. Rubio do not care about the america people, all he cares about
    is those Cuban in Florida.

    March 29, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  16. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Rubio would make a great VP choice. He'd make mince meat out of crazy ol' senile Joe in a debate.

    March 29, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  17. Dieter Zerressen

    OMG, after that election fiasco in 2000 I sure hope that Florida is not a "mini-America". I think most of out here in the hinterlands know how to punch a ballot and our election officials aren't corrupt. At least I hope. That being said Rubio's endorsement proves that old adage about politics and strange bedfollows: Rubio and Romney have absolutely nothing in common and share no ideals.

    March 29, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  18. Namejkane fl live from teapublican moon base no taxes, no regulation no health care, free gas.

    Rubio has cost Florida thousands of jobs and is going down in the next election along with the other bafoons Scott and mack, wake up Florida and take our state back from these republican morons!!!!

    March 29, 2012 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  19. Attila, The Hun

    The little worm is sucking up to the big worm.

    March 29, 2012 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  20. Republican who supports President Obama

    The GOP SHOULD come together and sent a strong message that the ultra-right wing ideology and obstructionism has no place in our country and vote for President Obama and anyone else who will work in a bipartisan fashion. Time to realize that sitting on the sidelines opposing everything has not solved anything. So much could have been done IF the GOP and the Dems work together. I blame the GOP 97% – the 3% are for the same moderates who have been threatened into silence. My votes go to people who can get or produce positive results and so far the GOP has not shown up.

    March 29, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  21. Samca

    No, he didn't earn it, he bought it!

    March 29, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  22. John Wright

    At this stage endorsements come easy when it's quite obvious of Romney's eventual nomination but Rubio's backing should end the candidacy's of Santorum and Gingrich right now. This is the man incumbent democrats and Obama fear the most.

    March 29, 2012 04:56 am at 4:56 am |

    Good choice , gaffe machine Mitt McCain. The GOBP are lying about jobs like they did two years ago. They can't be trusted to ever tell the truth. Wipe out the GOBP on November 6!

    March 29, 2012 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  24. Jerry

    Good move Mr. Rubio. Win or loose, you made the right move.


    March 29, 2012 05:46 am at 5:46 am |
  25. Pat

    Hope Romney makes him the VP nominee and this year will the end of this Rubio clown after Obama wins in landslide. Rubio achievement 11% unemployment in Florida 3 percentage pts higher than rest of the country.

    March 29, 2012 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
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