Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) spent much of his presidential campaign reiterating that he had no interest in seeking a second term in the Senate. But after his campaign fizzled out, he started to reconsider. Despite his record of opposing LGBT equality, Rubio recently cited the Orlando shooting as a reason he might run again. He made it official on Tuesday.
In a statement announcing he’s running again, Rubio didn’t mention Orlando. He acknowledged past promises he wouldn’t seek another term and his past statements about how frustrating he finds working in the Senate (he used that excuse to justify missing votes), but said the chamber “is also a place from which you can perform great services for the people you have the honor of representing. And I am proud of the work we have done to help thousands of Floridians over the last six years.”
Rubio’s Odd Excuse For Reconsidering His Promise Not To Run AgainPolitics by CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik As recently as last month, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was going out of his way…thinkprogress.orgThat “work” consists of flip-flopping on immigration reform, denying climate change (despite the fact that the area around Rubio’s West Miami home has already been hit hard by rising sea levels), making it more difficult for women to access birth control or abortion services, fomenting Islamophobia, supporting voter suppression measures and the privatization of public lands, and opposing LGBT equality.
But Rubio also cited another reason he wants to run again — his belief that both of the two presumptive major party presidential candidates, including the one he ruthlessly mocked before begrudgingly endorsing, might need to be reigned in by the Senate.
From his statement:
With Hillary Clinton, we would have four more years of the same failed economic policies that have left us with a stagnant economy. We would have four more years of the same failed foreign policy that has allowed radical Islam to spread, and terrorists to be released from Guantanamo. And even worse, if Clinton were president and her party took control of Congress, she would govern without Congressional oversight or limit. It would be a repeat of the early years of the current administration, when we got Obamacare, the failed stimulus and a record debt.
The prospect of a Trump presidency is also worrisome to me. It is no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald Trump. His positions on many key issues are still unknown. And some of his statements, especially about women and minorities, I find not just offensive but unacceptable. If he is elected, we will need Senators willing to engage him in the right direction, and if necessary, stand up to him. I’ve proven a willingness to do both.
Left unmentioned in Rubio’s statement is what the New York Times is reporting as the real reason he’s running again — that the 45-year-old still hopes to someday be president.
The Myth Of Marco Rubio As The ‘Moderate’ CandidatePolitics by CREDIT: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong Sen. Marco Rubio’s concession speech after the Iowa caucuses Monday night…thinkprogress.org“The senator has told colleagues and advisers that he would like to run for president again, either in 2020 or 2024,” the Times reports. “But he increasingly came to believe that doing so from the private sector would be difficult.”
A Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday finds Rubio leading Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) and Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) by seven- and eight-point margins, respectively, though both Murphy and Grayson are ahead of all the non-Rubio Republican contenders. The Democratic and Republican primaries for Rubio’s seat will be held August 30.
Erica Sackin, political communications director for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, cited Rubio’s loss in the Florida presidential primary to make a case that his agenda is out of step with Sunshine State voters.
“Florida shouldn’t be Marco Rubio’s ‘consolation prize,’” Sackin said in a statement. “Florida voters already rejected Marco’s extreme agenda — one where abortion is illegal even when a woman has been raped, and where thousands of Floridians can no longer choose to turn to Planned Parenthood as their trusted health care provider. Yet Marco clearly did not get the message. He won’t have a choice when he’s rejected again.”
Citing the aforementioned New York Times report, Max Steele, communicators director for the Florida Democratic Party, struck a similar note.
“The only reason Rubio wants to be reelected to a job he hates is so he can collect a taxpayer funded paycheck while he plans his next presidential campaign,” Steele said in a statement. “Floridians deserve better.”