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.