Marco Rubio told donors that the Senate will be more important than ever after the 2016 election. “We have to have a Senate that can stand up to the president,” he said, according to one individual on the 1:30 P.M. call. He made the argument that regardless of who wins the presidential election in November, maintaining Republican control of the Senate is more critical now than it has been over the past several years because both Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, are threatening to further expand executive power.
Rubio, who was elected to the Senate in the tea-party wave of 2010, announced earlier today that he would run for reelection this year, a 180-degree reversal for his declaration in April and several times thereafter that he would become a private citizen in January. In the interim, on the campaign trail earlier this year, he said that he found his tenure in the Senate unfulfilling because the partisan gridlock made it impossible to get anything meaningful accomplished.
An intense three-week push led by Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, however, was enough to change his mind. His remarks to donors are the first indication of how he will begin to make the case to Florida voters that he will return to Washington with a sense of purpose should they send him back to Washington in November.