Establishment Republicans Come Out And Support Rubio

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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GOP presidential hopeful Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] picked up three key endorsements from establishment Republicans recently — Sen. [crscore]Thom Tillis[/crscore] of North Carolina, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Rep. [crscore]Cresent Hardy[/crscore] of Nevada all threw their support to the Florida senator.

Rubio edged out Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] for the second place spot in South Carolina’s caucus Saturday, behind front-runner Donald Trump, and hopes to keep the momentum going.

“Like myself, Marco came from humble beginnings and worked very hard to get to where he is today. Marco lived the American Dream, and he will ensure that each and every one of us can do the same,” Tillis said in a statement Monday. “I’m supporting Marco Rubio for president because he has an unmatched ability to inspire and uplift the American people.” The North Carolina politician went on to show his support on social media.


Pawlenty, who has a failed bid for the 2012 presidential nomination, said he believes Rubio provides the strength of Trump, but comes with more experience.

“I think it comes down to this – he’s strong, he’s also informed, he’s conservative, and he’s electable, and he can unite the party, and you can’t ask for much more than that,” Pawlenty said on CNN’s “New Day” Monday morning. “I think he’s got the total package, and I think he’s going to bring forward the strongest voice, the strongest image, and really the most thoughtful and informed strong view about how to move this country forward from a conservative perspective.”

Hardy announced his support Sunday evening at a rally in Las Vegas, saying he believes Rubio is the right choice for the country.

“Thank you for the opportunity to stand before you and say that I endorse Senator Marco Rubio,” Hardy said. “I think Marco is the right guy, the right person for me. I think he is the right person for this state. And I think he is the right person for this country.”

The endorsements follow former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dropping out of the race Saturday.

National polls currently show Rubio trailing behind Trump and Cruz in the polls, coming in at 34.2 percent, 20.6 percent and 16 percent respectively, according to Real Clear Politics.

Nevada Sen. [crscore]Dean Heller[/crscore] and actor Donnie Wahlberg have also recently come out in support of the politician.

The Nevada caucus is set to take place Tuesday.

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