One of Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) upper chamber endorsements said he finally came out in favor of his colleague because he was tired of being asked which of the GOP candidates could actually win.
Rubio has three senators officially in his corner: Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).
Gardner told PBS he believes Rubio “absolutely will become the next president of the United States.”
“But I also got tired of answering this question — somebody would say who do you think can win the nomination? And I would explain that we need somebody who understands the issues facing every American at the kitchen table, somebody who is optimistic, who has a plan for the future. And they said, so you’re supporting Marco Rubio. And I said, no, no, no, I haven’t endorsed yet,” Gardner explained.
“And I was tired of answering the question that I knew was so obvious right in front of me. He is the person who can win. He is the person that has the right policies to move this country forward whether it’s economic policies, or foreign relations issues. This is an important election for this country. The most important thing he can do right now is get elected.”
When asked how much Donald Trump is hurting the Republican Party, Gardner replied that “some of his policies are absolutely dead wrong, and the idea that we would create some kind of religious test for entry into the country I think is absolutely wrong.”
“In fact, I find it interesting that there are some people who would agree with this that would allow President Obama to create the religious test and to enforce that. I think they wouldn’t really like that idea, but that’s what he’s espousing,” the senator added.
“So I made that very clear. I think it’s very clear to more and more, each and every day, that there are others who could do a better job of representing this country as president of the United States. And you see that in the numbers that others are experiencing. Marco Rubio’s rise, Ted Cruz has experienced an increase in the polls….I think you’re again going to see Trump starting to spread his supporters out through others in the race.”
Gardner opined that “any time you present a message that’s seen as hate, or perceived by hate yes, you’re going to have a negative impact.”
“Fresh views and new ideas,” he stressed, “can’t make it look like you’re opposed to good people.”
“And blanket policies that are based on a bad policy like he’s proposed can make it look like he’s against people, and that’s not good for any party.”
Gardner wouldn’t say whether he fears that the intra-GOP fight in 2016 could have the down-ballot effect of costing the party control of the Senate.
“It’s too early to tell what’s going to be the issue for the Senate or not,” he said. “So I’m not somebody who believes that it is going to cost us the United States Senate. There could be a number of issues that change between now and then that could give Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio the lead.”