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.

Also see:

Gingrich faults fundraising for campaign changes

Poll: Obama leads narrowly in Florida, Ohio

Leno gets serious with Romney

Pro-Romney super PAC expands ad buys

Filed under: 2012 • Florida • Marco Rubio • Mitt Romney
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. Real Patriot

    Perfect-a guy who made up an immigrant past endorsing a guy who made up a conservative record--go Liars!

    March 29, 2012 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. G

    Marco Rubio is a fraud. He lied about his family heritage to create a more colorful "American Dream" story for political gain.

    March 29, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  3. pm ohio

    I want to warn over confident Liberals about thinking the election in November is over. 1st of all, there are many, many hateful and racist peole in our country who will vote against Obama even if they have no idea of any of the policies the canddidates put out there. 2nd, the Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited donations by corporations means that super PACs funded by billionaires and corporations will try desperately to buy the election with lies and misinformation. 3rd, as evidenced by polls saying that a majority of Americans are against Obamacare, but overwhelmingly suppoert most of it's provisions means that people are ignorant of the facts, but are willingly swayed by dis-information.

    A vote for Romney this Fall is a vote to make the rich even richer, and completely destroy what's left of the middle class.

    March 29, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Debo G

    Two peas in a pod. Both liars. One lies about his and his opponent's positions on issues and one lies about his heritage and background. Leave it to the Republicans to come up with some real 'leaders'.

    March 29, 2012 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. Holly in CA

    Current US Senators who have endorsed a candidate:
    18 for Romney
    0 for Gingrich
    0 for Santorum
    1 for Paul (his son)

    March 29, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. ObamaJoe

    The most important endorsement is in Michael Bachmann's hand,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    If Mitt does not invite Michael to be his team member,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,he can not unite GOPs for sure,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    March 29, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  7. Alger Dave

    Ooops. Rubio stumbles on this one. I guess he didn't give a glowing endorsement to Romney, but even this begrudged endorsement (he's going to win so let's get behind him) will backfire on Rubio. Smart GOPers will stay away from endorsing a candidate until one is decided upon in Tampa. Why? Because Romney is probably going to lose to Obama in the fall, based on the turning economic tide. No harm, no foul – I"m a lifelong Republican, but I don't see a candidate like Romney exciting the base (at all) and we're not going to need an economic 'fixer' in the fall (or at least that will be the overall perception by then) when the economy is humming along. So Romney is doomed. That's not a big deal to me, as I don't care for RINO's or flipfloppers, but I'm concerned about GOP voters going out to vote for the rest of the ticket. That's who Romney is really going to hurt.

    March 29, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  8. The REAL Truth

    @pm ohio – couldn't have said it better myself. The right runs their campaigns based on feeding misinformation to the faithful, and fanning the flames of fear for those that don't have the intelligence to see thru it.

    Sure everyone loves less Govt. and lower taxes, but the GOP has yet to provide either at the Federal level – EVER ! Reagan, Bush (41) and Bush (43) all raised taxes (on the 99%); increased the size of Govt dramatically; started 3 un-funded wars (directly funding the military/industrial complex with tax payer dollars) and raided SS funds.

    March 29, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  9. Laverne

    @ pm ohio: I agree with you 100%, we can't underestimate the hatefulness that will rear its ugly head this election. I have been saying all the long its going to get ugly and the element of racism is being exposed more and more everyday, dems better get ready for battle!

    March 29, 2012 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. ourjungle

    I can hear Santorum now..."whaaa, whaaa no one wants to endorse me"....but, he did get a round about endorsement from Arlen Specter the other day,when Specter compared Romney to a ponographic queen....makes one wonder how does Specter know anything about ponography??

    March 29, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. Debby

    Rubio is a good man, I really hope he is the VP.

    March 29, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  12. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    All of my esteemed blogging colleagues have pretty much said it. Rubio is an opportunist looking to latch onto the likely Republican Nominee (much as Bobby Jindal did earlier in the campaign with Rick Perry). However, Rubio has proven himself to be damaged goods when it comes to personal integrity and honesty. I imagine these, though, are mandatory qualifications for Republicans seeking state-wide office in Florida.
    What I truly find telling in all of these endorsements is no one who served with Gingrich in the House or Santorum in the Senate have offered any endorsements to them. I do not count Rand Paul's endorsement of his Daddy to be anything other than some weird solidarity amongst those who would dismantle the government for the sake of their libertarianism. As the people who worked with these folks in the past have shown they do not want them to serve as their party's nominee, more and more of the people in the bleachers are realizing that there is no A-Team for this year, so they are hoping for the scrub with the best possibility to kick the field goal from their own 80.

    March 29, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Jess C

    Yes, GOP, time to shake that Etch-a-Sketch and come together. In the meantime, Romney's busy having his CA mansion worked on. An elevator, really? The Mittens robot is so out of touch with the average American it's glaringly scary.

    March 29, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  14. Alexanders

    Rubio. good for cubans. not the hispanic population. he does not reflect hispanics interest. Good guy but, not VP material.

    March 29, 2012 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  15. Anonymous

    A flip-flopper supporting another flip-flopper. Rubio wants to get the VP nomination, thats all.

    March 29, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. t

    this guy is a FAKE.

    March 29, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. steven harnack

    This guy has never had an original thought in his life, unless you count the story that he made up about his background. He is their Great Hispanic Hope. They are just sure that if the all talk nice about him then Hispanic voters will flock to the Republican party. Just another pretty face attatched to an empty suit.

    March 29, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Larry L

    @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."
    Interesting that you'd want a liberal-moderate-conservative-pro-life-pro-abortion rights-pro-Obamacare-anti-Obamacare President paired-up ultra-right wing, Bible-thumping radical who isn't favored by the Hispanic community. How can Romney do the Etch-a-Sketch trick when his VP running mate is a Teavangelical? How well do you think their plans to effectively kill Medicare will float in Florida?

    March 29, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    @ pm ohio: CNN did not post my previous comment so let me just add my agreement to yours.
    @ Alexanders I agree with your post as well except for the "good guy" part, which he isn't. His ethics are questionable at best.

    March 29, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  20. Whome

    Lets have an open convention and then maybe we will get the right man/woman.

    March 29, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Wake up people

    @pm ohio, excellent post. I have been saying the same thing. The republicans want the White House back so badly, they will say and do anything to win. With all the money they are putting into this campaign we better watch our backs. I have never heard so many lies made up about a sitting POTUS. I keep thinking about Florida in 2004 and I can see the same thing happening again. But the saddest part of all is the fact that some people are willing to go along with them and pretend it wasn't baby Bush that got us into this mess. And pretend President Obama has done nothing to get us back on track, when he has despite the obstruction from the GOP.

    OBAMA 2012!

    March 29, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    pm ohio you make very valid points. I too warn people against succumbing to over confidence based on the incredible stupidity, disconnect and prrpensity for outright lying that these GOPers have shamelessly been serving up to the voters. We have seen over and over again these past 3 years how many Americans suffer from short-term memories, complete amnesia, and downright dumbness when they insist on supporting politicians that clearly care nothing for us or our country.How we can give our vote to the same people that have stood indolently by, arms folded, and PRAYED and HOPED that our country would come to a complete and screeching halt is beyond me.
    Do not be complacent. Screw these polls. Get your ID's Rethug- proof and go out there
    in November and VOTE. Your President needs you.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    March 29, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Anonymous "A flip-flopper supporting another flip-flopper. Rubio wants to get the VP nomination, thats all."

    Mind if I expand upon your comment ....... ?

    One panderer supporting another panderer.

    One liar supporting another liar.

    One wannabee supporting another wannabee.

    One loser supporting another loser.

    And so on and so on...

    How far the GOP has fallen this election cycle ..... !

    March 29, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  24. tstorm92

    Rubio, a professed liar, endorsing the guy who says he "doesn't care about poor people'.: The GOP is SCREWED UP!

    March 29, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. tstorm92

    Rubio is the perfect endorsement for Romney, a professed liar and a coward. Just like Romney. The GOP has become the party of hate and intolerance. I can't and won't vote for that.

    March 29, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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