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by
Bridget Johnson

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May 12, 2014 - 8:35 am

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) headed up to early primary state New Hampshire on Friday for the first time in two years, fundraising for Republicans there and heightening speculation that he’s gearing up for a presidential run.

Rubio told ABC that if he makes the leap for a White House run, he won’t have a fallback plan to stay in the Senate.

“I’ve openly said in the past that it’s something I will consider at the end of this year, that I’ll look at a number of factors, personal factors, but also whether I could best promote this message and actually put in place these ideas that I want to see put in place, whether I could best do that from the presidency as opposed to the Senate,” he said.

“If I decide to run for president, I will not have some sort of exit strategy to run — to run for the Senate. I believe that if you want to be president of the United States, you run for president. You don’t run for president with some eject button in the cockpit that — that — that allows you to go on an exit ramp if it doesn’t work out.”

When asked if he thinks he’s ready to be president, the senator said, “I do.”

“But I think that’s true for multiple other people that would want to run. I mean I’ll be 43 this month, but — but the other thing that perhaps people don’t realize, I’ve served now in public office for the better part of 14 years,” Rubio said. “And most importantly, I think a president has to have a clear vision of where the country needs to go and clear ideas about how to get it there. And — and I think we’re very blessed in our party to have a number of people that fit that criteria.”

“And the question is what — whose vision is the one that our party wants to follow?”

Rubio said he doesn’t “really pay a lot of attention” to polls that show his luster has faded with the right.

“If you decide to run for president, there’s going to be a campaign and in that campaign, you’re going to interact with voters and you’re going to explain to them where you stand and those numbers can change one way or the other,” he said.

Rubio was part of the Senate group of eight that arrived at an immigration compromise that hasn’t been taken up in the House. “We’re not going to grant blanket amnesty to 12 million people. We’re also not going to round up and deport 12 million people. So that issue has to be dealt with in a reasonable but responsible way,” he said.

On Hillary Clinton, he noted, “I’m sure she’s going to go around bragging about her time in the State Department. She’s also going to have to be held accountable for its failures, whether it’s the failed reset with Russia, or the failure in Benghazi that actually cost lives.”

“I don’t think she has a passing grade,” Rubio added. “…If you look at the diplomacy that was pursued in her time in the State Department, it has failed everywhere in the world. So here’s what I would say, if she is going to run on her record as secretary of State, she is also going to have to answer for its massive failures.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
He's pro-amnesty and pro-open borders. He's done. Case closed. Go away.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (23)
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My Electoral Analysis:

-Race: Rubio will gain some Latino support due to racial and linguistic solidarity.

-Race Caveat: Latino conversion will be blunted by two factors: Latino "Uncle Tom" media spin and generalized Latino prejudice against Cuban Americans.

-Small-government conservatives: Rubio has endorsed statist solutions. No conversion of votes to his opponent, but much of the Tea Party will stay home.

-Big-Government conservatives: Rubio's view of immigration has alienated many social conservatives. Depressed turnout.

-Centrists and Leaners: Rubio is farther right socially than either McCain or Romney, neither of whom saw significant cross-over voting. Very little conversion of independent liberals.

-Millennial Libertarians: Rubio has not been consistent in separating his social values from state policy. No conversion from young libertarian leaning democrats and independents.


Final Analysis: Rubio will depress the Republican base. Some support will be picked up due to his heritage, but likely not enough to offset his chilling impact on other sectors of the electorate. Low turnout and minor crossover voting will result in a crushing defeat, followed by a media narrative of how the Republicans are constitutionally incapable of drawing minority support, even with a minority candidate.

Conclusion: If Jeb Bush doesn't run, this will be the guy the media will try and make the general election Republican nominee.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I think Paul is going to emerge as the media favorite by default - if only to pick him apart for the Sheldon Adelson crowd and neocons later. The bad part of any R candidate selection in '16 is that they would be picking first - this gives the Dems to find a counterbalance VP or even a "doctor's orders withdrawal" of Hilary at the top of the ticket, if the matchup didnt favor them. For example, if Rubio, Sandoval or Martinez were the running mate, the dems could go boring mid-southern white guy - J. Nixon, Manchin, Joe Donnelly, perhaps Robert Casey.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe if he cuts a deal with Lt. Col. Allen West - I'll give up my seat and run for president and I'll endorse and actively support you to be the next Senator in return for your visible endorsement. This might at least get the 29 Florida EVs back in the R column , even though you might see something like you did in Nevada in 2010 - there wasnt much "coattail" between Sandoval and Angle support, although West's genuine blackness (for lack of a better way to put it) might help statewide.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
What has Rubio done other than give a few good speeches? He is too young (early 40's). His entire adult life has been spent in elective oofice in a legislative capacity from city commission to state house to US Senate. He has no meaningful management or leadership experience much less executive experience. He is not qualified.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
How is he any better than McCain or Romney, other than that a few more Hispanics might vote for him?
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only thing that matters to put the torch to Rubio's presidential hopes is that real Republicans won't vote for somebody who favors amnesty for illegal aliens, and that real Democrats won't vote for a RINO, even if he IS in favor of amnesty. Dems will vote for a real Dem rather than a fake DEM/RINO "centrist". And the RINOS aren't enough to push Rubio (or Romney, or McCain, or Dole, or any of the other dismal faux Republicans we've been cursed with over the past half-century) over the top.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rubio will assess, poll, evaluate, right up to the last possible second before he needs to make a decision. My guess is he won't be in the top three potentials and will stay in the Senate for the good of his family. Too bad, he probably has something to contribute, recent statements on climate change notwithstanding.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
He can asses all he wants he is NOT a NATURAL Born Citizen of the USA and is therefore ineligible to run for President just like the USURPER Obama wasn't/isn't.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Marco Rubio was born in Miami, FL on May 28th, 1971. He is clearly a US citizen by birth. He is also a typical career politician with Political Science/Law education and almost no private sector work history. However, I'm somewhat impressed that he married a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, it could make a good deal of political sense for Marco Rubio to not run for reelection to the Senate as he makes a run for the White House in 2016. After all, it's inconceivable that Republicans could win the Presidency without also winning Florida's electoral votes ... so if he were the GOP nominee and lost the Presidential election, it's quite possible he'd also lose his Senate seat too (we're a purple swing state, with Dems generally doing quite well in Senate races). To lose both campaigns at the same time could finish him off permanently, while if he runs and loses only in the Presidential race, or simply fails to win the Republican nomination, that doesn't hurt him in-state.

If Rubio runs for the WH in 2016 (as it seems likely) and doesn't win, then he's free to campaign for the next two years, and can't be accused of foresaking his recently-reelected Senate job while campaiging for his next job in politics ... which happens to mesh up rather well with the Florida gubernatorial election race in 2018.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's pro-amnesty and pro-open borders. He's done. Case closed. Go away.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Pretty sure that Marco Rubio won't make you happy and go away. Sorry!
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
He won't win re-election for his senate seat in Florida nor will he win Florida's 29 electoral points.
Don't know where you are located in Florida but where I am the rage against him has not subsided in the least. In fact, people are very energized and organized to throw his corrupt Bush Mafia crony capitalist butt out of office.
They mean to make an example of the Legend in his own mind.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
One can always hope...
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
One can always hope....
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
He's setting up to be the next John Edwards - hopefully the baby's momma is a fetching piece of eye candy from the Univision or Telemundo lot.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Rubio will run for President because he can't get re-elected Senator in FL.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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