In a season full of Twitter battles and debate barbs, few have been more memorable this election cycle than those between GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and former rival Sen. Marco Rubio. In fact, some consider the exchanges between the two of them some of the lower points of the season — and perhaps, in part, the final seal on Rubio’s fate in the campaign.
Shortly after suspending his campaign, Rubio commented there was still “time to prevent a Trump nomination, which I think would fracture the party and be damaging to the conservative movement.” The senator from Florida called Sen. Ted Cruz “the only conservative left in the race” — but stopped short of endorsing his former rival.
So what Marco Rubio just said about Donald Trump today has taken a lot of people completely by surprise.
Via Tampa Bay Times:
Marco Rubio appears to be warming up to Donald Trump, saying Friday his “performance has improved significantly.” Rubio has also continued to withold an endorsement of Ted Cruz, even though he previously praised him as the conservative in the race.
Last Sunday on Univision Rubio said it appeared Trump will lock down the nomination.
“If he keeps winning delegates like he did the other night in New York, I think he’s going to reach that number,” Rubio said on Al Punto Florida. “But let’s see. There are still other states to go.”
Rubio, who continues to hold onto more than 100 delegates, has said he disagreed with Trump about the delegate system being “rigged.” But Rubio did echo the argument that if Trump is close to 1,237 delegate count he should get the nod.
“I do think it’s valid to argue to delegates: ‘Look, let’s not divide the party. You have someone here who has all these votes, very close to get 1,237, let’s not ignore the will of the people or they’re going to be angry.’ And delegates may decide that on that reason they decide to vote for Donald Trump. But if they don’t, it’s not illegitimate in any way,” he told Miami radio host Jimmy Cefalo on April 20.
“I’ve always said I’m going to support the Republican nominee, and that’s especially true now that it’s apparent that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic candidate,” Rubio said. “My differences with Donald Trump are well documented … .”
Marco Rubio isn’t the only one from the so-called “establishment” who appears to be warming to Trump. As CNN and many other outlets have reported in the past few days, it seems that more and more Republican leaders are now acknowledging the likelihood of a Trump nominee:
“Many of us who have expressed concerns are reconciling ourselves to the fact that in all likelihood he will be the eventual nominee,” said Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, who backs Sen. Ted Cruz for president.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, said Thursday he’d do “everything in my power” to help Trump if he’s the nominee.
Whether Trump is your choice or not, the acknowledgement from Republican leaders that they will put their differences aside to support Trump if he should be the nominee should be welcome news. I think (hope) we can all agree that #AnyoneButHillary should be the unifying motto that trumps (no pun intended) all.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]