Elections

Marco Rubio says he plans to sit out rest of GOP primary

By PATRICIA MAZZEI

Miami Herald

The behind-the-scenes battle for the Republican nomination

As the primaries progress and neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz earn the 1237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination, a second battle is emerging to win over delegates who will switch sides in a contested convention.
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As the primaries progress and neither Donald Trump nor Ted Cruz earn the 1237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination, a second battle is emerging to win over delegates who will switch sides in a contested convention.

Marco Rubio intends to watch what remains of the Republican presidential primary from the sidelines.

In an interview aired Sunday, Rubio told Univision's new Al Punto Florida show that he has no imminent endorsement or campaigning plans.

"For now, I don't plan on getting involved in the contest that's still going," he said. "I ran my own race, it didn't end in victory, and I'm going let voters decide what's going to happen. But I will support the Republican nominee."

In his final days as a candidate, Rubio had wavered on backing front-runner Donald Trump, but the Florida senator has no longer sounded reluctant in recent interviews. He told Al Punto Florida co-host Ambrosio Hernández -- who made Rubio the brand-new show's maiden guest -- that Trump had a "pretty overwhelming" victory in last week's New York primary.

"If he keeps winning delegates like he did the other night in New York, I think he's going to reach that number," Rubio said of the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. "But let's see. There are still other states to go."

Asked for the umpteenth time if he'd agree to be one of his former rivals' running mate, Rubio said no: "I'm always looking for ways to serve the country, but I don't think it's going to be as vice president. I'm not looking for it, I'm not asking for it, and it's not going to happen."

Still, Rubio has asked to keep the delegates he won as a candidate. Why?

"What I want is for the party to pick a nominee who is conservative and who can win. If my delegates can play a role in accomplishing that goal, we're probably open to that," he said. "I don't have any secret or comprehensive plans about what I'm going to do at the convention."

Could Rubio return to the presidential race as a white-knight candidate?

"This year?" Rubio asked, leaving his options open down the line. "No. That's not going to happen. I think that moment has passed."

"I haven't thought about any future aspirations," he added.

Rubio also weighed in on issues outside the presidential race.

On supporting potential changes to the Cuban Adjustment Act: "Right now it's inviting people to come to the U.S. through very risky trips," he said.



On Carnival Corp.'s cruise to Cuba: "We're talking about American companies that want to go to bed with the regime, and they're going to find very serious problems, like the ones we're seeing now."

On Venezuela's political crisis: "There's an argument to be made that [President Nicolás] Maduro's government has carried out a coup in Venezuela."

On Puerto Rico's economic crisis: "If this was one of the 50 states, something would have already been done," he said. "Unfortunately, Puerto Rico is a territory that is often forgotten."

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