Florida Senator Marco Rubio drew flak Tuesday for refusing, in an interview with CNN, to commit to serving a full term in the Senate if elected. He told CNN he has learned not to make “unequivocal statements” about his political future, given that he announced his reelection bid after saying for over a year that he would not run.
In a phone interview with National Review Tuesday afternoon, Rubio elaborated on those remarks when asked why voters should support him if he won’t commit to finishing out his term. And though he stood by his statement to CNN, he said it wouldn’t have made political sense to seek reelection if he were planning to run for president in 2020.
No one can tell you they’re going to serve six years in the Senate. No one knows what the future holds for them, or what life is going to bring. My intention is to serve in the Senate, that’s why I’m running. And that’s what I intend to do. If I were going to run for president, I probably would’ve stayed out. It would’ve been a lot easier than getting back in in one of the most expensive and competitive states in the country just three months after the end of a presidential race of my own and filing for office like, at the deadline. That’s not politically a smart thing to do.
Rubio is expected to win handily in his primary against wealthy home-builder Carlos Beruff today. He will likely face Democratic representative Patrick Murphy, who has his own primary today, in November.