Rising conservative star, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), told Sean Hannity last night on Fox News that he is endorsing Mitt Romney for President.
Hailing from the key swing state of Florida and with appeal to both Latinos and Tea Party conservatives, Rubio is widely regarded as at the top of any vice presidential shortlist. As Rubio issued his endorsement, he commended the remaining contenders for the Republican nomination but called on fellow Republicans to rally behind Mitt Romney before the Convention in August.
Rubio said, “Well, 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. Look at the President’s record. This is someone who has run the country, not very well over the last 3 years, that has no experience beyond that doing that. At the same time, as he has no experience with the private sector or the free enterprise system.
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. I think all the candidates in this race have a lot to be proud of. They have offered a lot to the debate. 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.”
Mitt Romney responded to the endorsement with the following statement:
“Marco Rubio is living proof that the American Dream is still very much alive. 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. Senator Rubio’s endorsement is a major milestone in my effort to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Ann joins me in thanking him for the confidence he is placing in my leadership and for the great honor he has done me today.”
The coveted Rubio endorsement comes on the heels of an endorsement last week from another influential Floridian: Former Governor Jeb Bush. His father, former President George H.W. Bush is holding an event with Romney today to formally announce his endorsement. Though not unexpected, the former President’s endorsement reinforces the The general feeling among political observers is that Republicans are coalescing behind Romney to take on Obama in November.