Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) spoke with NRO this morning about his endorsement of Mitt Romney, the signal he’s sending on the oral arguments at the Supreme Court about Obamacare, and his idea for a revised version of the DREAM Act.
NRO: So, why Romney?
Senator Rubio: First of all, I have not gotten involved in the primaries. I think it has been a good thing to have a primary; I have talked about primaries as a good thing for our party. I would never ask someone to not be in a primary or to drop out. God knows plenty of people asked me to drop out, and we all saw how that turned out. We’ve had a primary, but now the two principal opponents to Governor Romney have both admitted that they can’t win the primary, that their only potential path to victory is a floor fight at the convention in Tampa in August.
Our number-one goal has to be to replace Barack Obama. My overriding goal here is a new occupant in the White House. Without a new president, we can’t get a repeal and replace of Obamacare passed, we can’t get tax reform, we can’t save Medicare, we can’t undo the catastrophic cuts to national defense. If Obama is reelected president, none of those things is going to happen. So we have to replace him.
No one can convince me that a floor fight in August in Tampa makes it likelier that we beat Barack Obama. On the contrary, a floor fight in Tampa diminishes the chances of beating Obama nine weeks later in November. Certainly in Florida it does. I can just talk about Florida, that if we have a floor fight at the convention, there is no way, given the way the media covers politics today, that it will put us in a better position to win in November. And if we don’t win Florida, it’s hard to think we can win the presidency.
Given all that, and given the fact that by their own admission his opponents can’t win the primary, it’s time for us to say Romney is winning the primary fair and square, and to line up behind our nominee to defeat Barack Obama.
NRO: I notice in that answer you didn’t say a lot about Romney himself.
Rubio: I’m a big admirer of his. I’ve known him since 2007. As I said last night, I think he did a very good job as governor of a very important and diverse state. He’s also been very successful in the private sector, private enterprise, and that’s a rare combination in American politics. The most important job of a president is to be a good decision-maker, and someone who has been successful in both politics and business is clearly a good decision-maker.
I’m an admirer of his, and I think he’ll be a fine president. He’ll be a significant upgrade over the person who is president now.
NRO: Did you vote in the Florida primary?
Rubio: I did.