Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told radio host Hugh Hewitt that if he runs for president, he would not seek reelection to the Senate. The Florida Republican said that he should know in about a year whether or not he would run saying that by then he would have to make a decision on either running for the U.S. Senate, president or not running for anything. He also noted that Florida law prohibits candidates from running for two separate offices on the same ballot.
Rubio has, however, made it clear that he will not seek reelection to a second term in the Senate if he does run for the presidency, but was ambiguous about his intentions if he doesn’t fare well in the primary.
When asked if he would seek reelection to the Senate if he does not do too well in the presidential primary, Rubio stated that, “I haven’t really thought that far ahead,” saying that when you do something as big as running for president, you should not have an “exit strategy.” However, depending on how well he does in the primary and if and when he drops out of the presidential race, he might be able to seek another term in the Senate.
At a Reuters Health Summit in Washington, Rubio said that the choice for him in 2016 is whether or not he wants to serve another six years in the Senate, run for president or work in the private sector, however he does feel very strongly about what he feels the country needs to be doing.
Rubio has been serving in the Senate since 2010 after winning the seat with strong Tea Party support. In 2013, Rubio was a huge factor in the passing of a comprehensive immigration reform bill which has since been held up in the Republican-dominated House of Representatives. Republican leadership in the Senate stressed the importance of immigration reform to garner the support of Hispanic voters who typically lean towards the democrats come election time.
Rubio, however said that the idea of passing immigration reform as a vehicle to suddenly acquire 50% of the Hispanic vote is not what reform should be about.
“The notion that somehow immigration reform passed, suddenly 50 percent of Hispanics would be voting Republican?” Rubio said. He went on to say that passing immigration reform just for the sake of getting more Hispanics to vote Republican isn’t the reason to take such measures and that he never really thought of it that way. However, he did acknowledge that if passed, there would be certain “ramifications” that may benefit the Republican party.
Rubio commented that he was leery about whether or not the immigration bill would pass the Republican led house, but hoped that other bills would lead to the House passing the reform. However, his involvement in passing the bill in the Senate did receive backlash from far-right Republicans in the House that did hurt his status with the Republican establishment.
On the other hand, GOP Sen. Rand Paul, another potential presidential candidate in 2016 is hoping that his state will change the law and allow him to be on both tickets if he runs for the White House. Paul said that it is not uncommon for a person to run for both congress and president at the same time, citing Joe Lieberman in 200 (Senate and Vice President), and more recently, Paul Ryan in 2012 (Congress and Vice President), saying that, “A lot of people have done it, so it wouldn’t be anything, I think, extraordinary.”
By Nathaniel Pownell
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