Former New York Gov. George Pataki — a literal May to December candidate who suspended his campaign last month — decided to make an endorsement less than a week away from the Iowa caucuses.
“I took a look at all the candidates, and in my mind one person who stands out, that’s Senator Marco Rubio,” Pataki told Fox this morning.
“We need someone who is going to bring Americans together. Senator Rubio has the leadership. He has the vision. He has the intelligence from Congress to understand what it takes to defend us against radical Islam,” he added. “I’m proud to endorse Senator Rubio.”
Pataki had demanded equal time on NBC after Donald Trump hosted Saturday Night Live, and used one of his four free two-minute spots in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to drop out nearly a month ago.
The governor took a shot at Trump’s campaign slogan in the video. “If we’re truly going to make America great again, we need to elect a president who will do three things: confront and defeat radical Islam, shrink the size and power of Washington, and unite us again in our belief in this great country,” he said.
“While tonight is the end of my journey for the White House as I suspend my campaign for president, I am confident we can elect the right person. Someone who will bring us together and who understands that politicians including the president must be the people’s servant and not their master. I know the best of America is still ahead of us.”
Today, Pataki said he has “enormous confidence that Marco Rubio is ready today to be president of the United States.”
“He’s provided great leadership. He did it in the state legislature in Florida. He’s done it in the U.S. Senate, particularly when it comes to rebuilding our military, standing up to radical Islam,” he said.
The governor added that “one of the most important things is for us to understand we are all Americans.”
“We have had a president who has divided us for political benefit. Hillary Clinton is always dividing us for her benefit. Donald Trump is dividing us so he gets the benefit. Marco Rubio is going to bring us together, and make us understand we are all Americans with a common future,” Pataki continued. “I’m proud to endorse him. And I don’t just intend to endorse him, I’m going to do everything I can to help Senator Rubio win this election.”
Rubio’s campaign also announced the endorsement of former Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).
“In a world in which terrorists are targeting our cities and adversaries are challenging our leadership, we need a serious president—one with sound judgment and resolve. In the Senate and on the campaign trail, Marco has shown that he has deep knowledge of the national security challenges our country faces,” said the 18-year senator. “He has the experience and wisdom to serve as our next commander-in-chief.”