Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Saturday received the endorsement of Iowa’s largest paper, The Des Moines Register, almost a week before the state’s caucuses.
“Sen. Marco Rubio has the potential to chart a new direction for the party, and perhaps the nation, with his message of restoring the American dream,” wrote the editorial board of The Register Saturday. “We endorse him because he represents his party’s best hope. That hope rests partly in the electoral calculus of the country.”
“Republicans should have learned from 2012 that they cannot win with Republicans alone. Recent polling shows Rubio has higher favorability ratings among independents than all candidates but Ben Carson, as well as positive ratings among Latinos.”
“Rubio promises specific answers for the issues in these voters’ lives. ‘It’s been a long time since the Republican Party has talked to a single mother raising two children who is struggling at $15 or $14 or $13 an hour,” the editorial said. “It’s been a long time since the Republican Party has had an agenda that talks to students,’ he told the Register’s editorial board.”
According to the paper’s editorial board, Rubio met with them twice and “displayed an impressive grasp of public policy detail, reeling off four-point plans on foreign policy and other issues. He proposes overhauling higher education and promoting vocational training, helping workers threatened by automation acquire skills rewarded by a new economy.”
The board met with each major Democratic and Republican candidate except New York businessman Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Rubio is polling in third place among Iowa Caucus voters behind Trump and Cruz respectively, a recent CNN poll reported.
In 2012, the Register endorsed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. However, Romney narrowly lost the Iowa caucuses to former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Romney won the Republican nomination later on.
The Register also endorsed Hillary Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.