Marco Rubio said he would consider running for re-election to the Senate if Florida’s lieutenant governor, a close friend of his, had not entered the race to succeed him.
Rubio, who said last year while he was running for president that he would not seek re-election, offered a new window into his thinking in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper set to air Sunday on “State of the Union.”
Tapper asked the incumbent if he would run again had the state’s no. 2 and close friend, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, not run in his place.
“Maybe,” Rubio replied.
“Look, I have a real good friend I’ve known for a long time who I was running for the Senate with. I didn’t run. I said I wasn’t going to. He got into the race,” Rubio said. “I think he’s put in time and energy to it and he deserves the chance to see where he can take it.”
Rubio is under increasing pressure — from prominent senators as well the party’s presumptive presidential nominee — to run again for his Florida Senate seat, rather than leaving the seat open to a possible Democratic pick-up in November. On Thursday night, Donald Trump — who fought bitterly with Rubio during the presidential primaries — tweeted that Rubio should seek re-election.
This sheds a little new light into the senator’s thought process regarding re-election. It has long been rumored that Rubio simply doesn’t like the creaky Senate process and hates being a senator, an idea he somewhat disputed in a recent Twitter outpouring.
Maybe Rubio is realizing that a return to the private sector may not be all that he has been telling himself that it is. He is an extraordinarily gifted politician, done in this time only by a candidacy no one on the planet predicted as well as the fact that his campaign staff were bumbling idiots who never really had a plan. A little less Trump, combined with a little more ground game, and Rubio would still be in the mix, if not the presumptive nominee. He still has a political future and he could be wondering if staying in politics would have been wiser.
There is always a chance that he will be a part of Trump’s cabinet should Hillary fulfill her role as Worst Candidate Ever and President Donald become a thing.
Sadly though, this is just another bout of “What if?” for Rubio fans.
Fortunately, he is very young in political years and if the Republic can survive the apocalyptic potential of the immediate presidential future, the story could have a better ending.