After finishing second in South Carolina, [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] says, “After tonight, this has become a three-person race and we will win the nomination.”
Taking the stage Saturday with his family, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Rep. [crscore]Trey Gowdy[/crscore], and Sen. [crscore]Tim Scott[/crscore], Rubio congratulated the winner, Donald Trump. He also issued his condolences to Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the presidential race. (RELATED: Donald Trump Wins South Carolina Primary)
While Trump won South Carolina with 99 percent of precincts reporting, Rubio got second place by a slim margin over Cruz, leading Rubio to claim, “After tonight, this has become a three person race and we will win the nomination.”
Rubio said of Bush, “I have an incredible affection and admiration not just for Governor Bush but for his family and for their service to our country. Jeb Bush has many things to be proud of, he is an extraordinary husband, he’s an extraordinary father, he was the greatest governor in the history of Florida and I believe and I pray that his service to our country has not yet ended. And I thank Jeb Bush for everything he did for the state of Florida and for running a campaign based on ideas.” (RELATED: Jeb Bush Drops Out Of Presidential Race)
Later Rubio said, “Tonight here in South Carolina the message is pretty clear, this country is now ready for a new generation of conservatives to guide us into the 21st Century.”
Harkening back to the Reagan Revolution, Rubio said, “Ronald Reagan made us believe that is was morning in America again, and it was. Well now, the children of the Reagan Revolution are ready to assume the mantle of leadership.”
“Now, those of us who grew up when it was morning in America and Ronald Reagan was in the White House are ready… to do for the next generation what Ronald Reagan did for ours.”
Rubio suggested the “conservative movement” in America is now in the hands of Sen. Scott, Gov. Haley, and himself.
“If tonight, you are that single mother, who has made it the purpose of your life to leave your children better off than yourself in the 21st Century, we conservatives will fight for you,” Rubio said.
After a “difficult election” in the New Hampshire Primary, Rubio said he arrived in South Carolina “in search of a new beginning and a fresh start. And many thought it was over, some had doubts about whether we would wind up here even now, for me the state of South Carolina will always be the place of new beginnings and fresh starts.”
Concluding his speech, Rubio said, “If it is God’s will that we should win this election, then history will say that on this night in South Carolina, we took the first step forwards in the beginning of a new American century.”