During the 2016 presidential election, Senator Marco Rubio ran for re-election to the U.S. Senate and convincingly defeated Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, collecting a record 4,835,191 votes.
With that said, Rubio’s statewide popularity is at the highest it’s been since he first won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010.
Rubio’s endorsement (next to President Trump’s) is the holy grail of endorsements for any politician running for office in Florida.
We caught up to Rubio during the Republican Party of Florida annual meeting in Orlando where he had just finished having a private meeting with newly-announce Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Ron DeSantis.
Rubio said that during his 20+minute meeting with DeSantis he shared campaign trail experiences with the latest announced gubernatorial candidate. While Rubio said that he “generally” doesn’t involve himself in primary elections, he did thing that DeSantis was a “very strong candidate,” adding that his longtime friend, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, was also a strong candidate.
So, I like Ron a lot. I don’t generally get involved in primaries, I’ve known Adam Putnam for long, so I will let Republican primary voters decide. Adam will be a strong candidate, Ron will be a very strong candidate and we were just going through some of the experiences I had when I ran statewide a couple times. He’s got a good team and a good story to tell.”–Sen. Marco Rubio (R)
When asked Rubio about the national fundraising prowess that DeSantis developed, Rubio said the following:
“Yeah, certainly. Being able to do some of the national issues and getting on Fox News all the time and people getting to see some of the things he’s working on. Certainly, the president’s tweet will be helpful in a Republican primary,” adding that DeSantis was a “very formidable candidate.”
With DeSantis and Putnam having officially entered the GOP gubernatorial sweepstakes, all eyes are now on Florida Speaker of the House Richard Corcoran.
Corcoran is expected to announce his candidacy shortly after the 2018 legislative session concludes in early March. Corcoran is also friends with Rubio, having been his Chief of Staff during the Senators stint as Speaker.