Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] suggested Saturday morning that he may not support Donald Trump if the business mogul wins the Republican presidential nomination, contradicting both a pledge he made last year and remarks he made at a recent Republican debate.
Rubio was giving a press conference Saturday morning in Florida when a reporter asked if he’d still support Trump in a general election.
“I don’t know,” Rubio replied. “I’ve already talked about the fact that I think Hillary Clinton would be terrible for this country. But the fact that you’re even asking me that question … I still at this moment continue to intend to support the Republican nominee, but [it’s] getting harder every day.”
And by sanity I mean desperation. Look at his face and in his eyes. https://t.co/WPhgv8fm2d
— Fantastic! (@PsychoStuey) March 12, 2016
Rubio also attacked Trump over the cancellation of his Chicago rally Friday night, saying Trump’s rhetoric had sent the country “careening toward chaos and anarchy.”
Last year, Rubio and all other Republican candidates (including Trump) signed a loyalty pledge, vowing to back whomever the party selected as its nominee. The pledge was intended at the time to prevent a possible third-party run by Trump, but now that Trump is the front runner, the pledge has come back to haunt members of the establishment GOP. Some prominent party members, such as Sen. Ben Sasse, have already suggested they would never vote for Trump in a general election.
But so far, Rubio hasn’t joined that group. Rubio reiterated that promise in a March 3 debate, saying he would back Trump if he had to.
“I’ll support Donald if he’s the Republican nominee,” he said. “Because the Democrats have two people left in the race. One of them is a socialist. America doesn’t want to be a socialist country. … The other one is under FBI investigation.”
Rubio’s wavering is the latest sign that his strategy has shifted from trying to win, to actively stopping Trump. While he’s still attempting to win Florida, he has already encouraged his supporters in Ohio to abandon him and support Gov. John Kasich, hoping to keep Trump from winning the state and its 66 winner-take-all delegates. Such a strategy indicates that Rubio is staking everything on forcing a brokered convention where he or some other non-Trump candidate is chosen as the nominee.
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