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Rubio Endorses Romney

To the actual surprise of absolutely nobody who pays attention to these things Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the latest big name Republican to endorse Mitt Romney and suggest that its time for his opponents to give up the ghost:

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida endorsed Mitt Romney on Wednesday night on Fox News’s “Hannity” show, calling Mr. Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, “a stark contrast to the president’s record.”

“I am going to endorse Mitt Romney and the reason why is not only because he is going to be the Republican nominee but he offers, at this point, such a stark contrast to the president’s record,” Mr. Rubio told the show’s host, Sean Hannity. “In Mitt Romney, we have a candidate, an alternative, that in addition to being successful as a governor, running an important state in this country, has also been successful in the private sector and offers a very clear alternative to the direction this president is going to take our country.”

Mr. Rubio’s endorsement comes as other members of the Republican Party seem to be coalescing around Mr. Romney’s candidacy — former President George H. W. Bush is set to throw his support behind Mr. Romney in Houston on Thursday, and one of his sons, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, endorsed Mr. Romney last week. And Mr. Rubio called on the remaining Republicans in the 2012 primary to rally behind Mr. Romney to avoid a delegate fight at the conventions, which he said would only help to re-elect President Obama.

“I think all the candidates in this race have a lot to be proud of,” Mr. Rubio said. “But I just can’t buy into this idea that by their own admission, they are saying the only way they can win this race is by having a floor fight in Tampa in August. I think that’s a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama, and our country — forget about the Republican Party — our country cannot afford that. We have got to come together behind who I think has earned this nomination, and that’s Mitt Romney.”

Matt Lewis suggests that Rubio should’ve waited longer:

If his goal was to help unite the party, he got the timing wrong. By holding out longer, and agreeing to be Romney’s running mate later, he could have served an important function as the bridge between the GOP establishment and the tea party/grassroots conservative base.

But this move seems to deprive Romney of the ceremonial, but very important, gesture of uniting the GOP establishment and conservatives by picking Rubio as a concession.

Lewis also notes that this is also a fairly strong signal that Rubio is not interested in the Vice Presidential nomination. Perhaps, but I think Rubio has been making himself clear on that one for months now. Indeed, considering that a losing Vice-Presidential candidate has only become President once in American history, one wonders why Rubio would take the offer at this point in his career. In any case, the party establishment is starting to rally behind Romney for real now. Next week, he has a chance to shut the lid on this race completely.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    I very much doubt Rubio is going to sign on as VP. I see CNN are out with a poll that is essentially the same as that from ABC a day ago ie. Romney in the low forties and Obama in the low to mid fifties. And similar fave/unfave numbers for Romney. Popular wisdom is predicting improvements in Romney’s faves/unfaves as the party comes around but as against this all the tax stuff, Bain etc is going to get revisited so I see a little upside for him but not much. At bottom this comes down to the white working class who are traditionally a major part of the Republican base (god knows why since they’ve been serially screwed by the GOP but that’s another debate). Outside of the south there’s a real chance many of these folks are going to jump ship this time because of issues like the auto industry, income inequality, scrapping Medicare and the background of the Republican candidate.

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  2. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Sometimes you have to spend money to make money and in politics sometimes you’ve got to man up to get ahead.

    It would be amazingly naive for Rubio to turn down the Veep slot. Staggeringly naive. Either he winds up Veep and then likely to become president in 2020 or he clears the field to run for president in 2016 in a non-incumbent year. Win-win.

    In certain respects this whole “Rubio needs to lay low and sit out the election” meme reminds me of when the chattering classes were saying that Bush 43 needed to wait until after Gore served his two terms in office before making a run. Uh, huh. Right. Back then I called it bravo sierra and now I call it bravo sierra.

    It’s more important to be in the spotlight than to avoid a prospective loss. Losing is no bar to winning the big one. Hell, Nixon lost to Kennedy and then couldn’t even get elected governor of CA, but only a few years later was president. Granted, Mondale got his ass kicked in epic fashion, but Mondale had to run against the same guy who had kicked his ass four years prior. Rubio in 2016 would be facing a blank slate.

    Politics is a rough sport. You can’t get ahead by being a wimp.

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  3. @Tsar Nicholas II:

    It would be amazingly naive for Rubio to turn down the Veep slot. Staggeringly naive. Either he winds up Veep and then likely to become president in 2020 or he clears the field to run for president in 2016 in a non-incumbent year. Win-win.

    Except for that fact that history would not be in Rubio’s favor. As I noted, there’s only been one time in American history that the person in the VP slot on a losing ticket went on to become President. That was FDR, who was Cox’s running mate in 1920 and went on to become President 12 years later. Most losing VP candidates end up fading into obscurity.

    Your Nixon analogy is slightly different because he had run for President in 1960 and come back 8 years later. That has happened before, and the fact that the 1960 election was so close and the GOP defeat in 1964 so wide were factors that worked to his advantage in 1968.

    Rubio is young. He could run in 2016. Heck, he could run in 2020 or 2024 and he’d still be young.

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  4. legion says:

    @Brummagem Joe: Seconded. From recent polls, it doesn’t look like Rubio helps pull the hispanic vote. He’s got a lot of Mormon in his background, so pairing him with Romney would only further alienate the evangelicals. It’s not even clear he would help gain any ground against Obama in his own state of Florida – what’s the upside of putting Rubio on the ticket at all?

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  5. Brummagem Joe says:

    @legion:

    From recent polls, it doesn’t look like Rubio helps pull the hispanic vote.

    Apparently not. His cockamamie plan to create a special third class of residents with no path to citizenship is about as popular with the hispanic community as pork chops in synagogues.

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  6. An Interested Party says:

    It is rather foolish for anyone to assume that Hispanics would vote for Romney simply because Rubio was on the ticket…of course Hispanics are smarter than that…a few tokens isn’t going to help the GOP woo groups that Republicans have shown hostility towards…

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  7. al-Ameda says:

    Marco Rubio practically defines the term “empty suit.” He’s the updated version of Dan Quayle. I have a hard time believing that Rubio’s endorsement has influence beyond the Cuban-American community.

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