Coming off a fifth-place finish in New Hampshire, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) expressed confidence today that he can still win the GOP nomination as he has “more foreign policy experience than any of them, a lot more — and that’s the most important job of a president.”
Rubio was in South Carolina this morning but returned to Washington for the Senate debate and vote on new North Korea sanctions.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) campaigned with Rubio at his early events and picked up a townhall in North Charleston for the senator.
Rubio declared on NBC this morning, “We’re going to be the nominee. It is just going to take a little longer, but we are going to get there.”
And while he admitted to supporters that he messed up during last Saturday’s debate, the senator vowed “we’re going to get back to the fundamentals of what made us successful in the past” and his repetition isn’t “the narrative that’s taking hold.”
“I think the narrative that night was ‘he had a bad debate and people heard about it on the news.’ And where it really hurts is you can’t get any other message out because all they want to ask you about is the debate that night,” Rubio said. “So that’s on me. That’s not going to happen again.”
Rubio told Fox this morning that media coverage after his debate stumble ensured that “the last thing that voters heard before going into the booth or yesterday was, you know, something bad happened on Saturday night.”
“To the extent that we finished shorter than we wanted to, I think it had to do with the fact that Saturday night, and the last three days and the coverage. So that’s on me, and that ain’t ever going to happen again,” Rubio continued.
“And we’re looking forward to South Carolina. We’re headed there right now, and we’re getting back on the road here. We’re going to win this campaign, and we’re going to win this primary. It’s important for the country and I’m fired up about that.”
Rubio added that he “went into that debate in the hopes that the Republicans didn’t have to attack one another.”
“I didn’t want to spend 60 seconds beating up on another Republican, because I think it helps the Democrats. Hillary Clinton would pay for us to do that all night long, but ultimately, we’re now at a stage where we need to be clear with people about our record, what I’ve done in the past,” he said.
“This line that, somehow, I have no experience is absurd. It’s true, I haven’t lived as long as some of the people running for president, but …the most important job of a president is to be the commander-in- chief and to keep this country safe.”