Sen. Marco Rubio today suggested that he will not run for the presidency in 2016.
“I need to make a decision in due time if I want to mount a credible campaign for the presidency,” he told reporters attending a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Staying in the GOP majority will give him the opportunity to get things done, he suggested.
“From my perspective, the decision I have to make is is where is the best place for me to serve the country at this time in my life, and at this time in my career, the choice before me is to continue in the Senate, especially now when we hope to hold an enduring [Senate] majority, or do it from the presidency,” he said.
“Both of those avenues have their own set of opportunities that are alluring,” he said.
If he runs for president in 2016, it is a make-or-break career decision, he said, because he would lose his Senate seat.
The decision to quit his Senate seat and run for the White House “is an irreversible one when you take it,” he said.
But if he stays in the Senate and runs in 2020 — or vies for the vice presidency — he won’t risk his Senate seat.
The extra years may help the GOP’s base — and swing-voters — forget about Rubio’s disastrous participation in President Barack Obama’s unpopularamnesty and guest-worker comprehensive immigration bill.
Rubio also deflected a question about whether he would run for governor.
“I’ve never discussed that,” he said, adding “I don’t have a 10-year plan for political progress, I just deal with opportunities as they emerge.”
Rubio acknowledged Gov. Jeb Bush’s clout — and Bush’s ability to suck up donations from Florida’s wealthy donors.
“Jeb will be a very credible candidate, he’s going to raise a lot of money… he’s going to be a strong candidate if he runs,” Rubio said.
If Rubio runs for 2016, he’ll be running against Bush.
If he runs in 2020 or later, he won’t be challenging Bush for donations and political support.