Rubio says he plans to play active role in 2012 races

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said he plans to play an active role in supporting like-minded conservatives running for the U.S. House and Senate in 2012.

But he doesn’t plan to back any Republican during the 2012 presidential primary.

“I’m not going to be endorsing in the primary for the presidential, but once we have the nominee, I’ll do anything they ask us to do,” Rubio told The Daily Caller.

The Floridian, who was elected in 2010, is often mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate in 2012. He made the comments Tuesday following a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington D.C.

During that speech, Rubio said President Obama is “avoiding” issues and “is not leading.” He also defended Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that includes revamping Medicare, which has been attacked by Democrats.

“In this town, as you all know, there are a lot of people who don’t like Paul Ryan’s program,” he said. “And that’s fine, you don’t have to like Paul Ryan’s program. But what’s your plan? That has to be our question. The bottom line is if your plan is to do nothing, you favor bankruptcy.”

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Rubio said he is for revamping Medicare if the changes save the program, do not adversely affect people that are currently in the program, and don’t hurt economic growth.

“The only plan out there that does that is the Ryan plan. If someone has a better plan, they have to hurry up and offer it,” he said.

During his wide-ranging speech to the pro-Israel crowd, Rubio also dinged the United Nations, an organization he told the group is “only good at two things.”

“Number one, condemning Israel and number two, cashing our checks that we send,” Rubio said.

Also present in the crowd for Rubio’s speech was former Republican state Rep. Adam Hasner, who is running in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Florida and who Rubio praised Tuesday. Both served in the Florida legislature together.

He’s in a crowded primary to take on Florida Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson. Hasner is facing state Senate President Mike Haridopolos and former Sen. George LeMieux.

“Adam was the Majority Leader when I was the Speaker of the House and did a great job and will be a great candidate,” Rubio said.