U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday night on Fox News’ Hannity Show that he will be endorsing Mitt Romney for president, because Romney “offers such a stark contrast to the president’s record.” Rubio often mentioned as a vice presidential possibility, also said there would be nothing good about a convention floor fight. “There is no way that anyone can convince me that having a floor fight at the convention in Tampa in August is a recipe for victory in November,” Rubio said. “On the contrary. I think it’s a recipe for disaster. So I just don’t think that’s a wise route to go.”
Mitt Romney sure is getting some important endorsements now that they no longer matter in the GOP primary. Also, I wonder about the timing of Rubio’s endorsement. It wouldn’t have anything to do with today’s Q-poll showing Romney down seven points to Obama?
Hotline’s Tim Alberta writes that Rubio’s biography is the main draw:
‘Rubio has a lot of things going for him: he’s young, charismatic, conservative, Hispanic and hails from a vote-rich swing state. Yet there’s something else, an ultimate intangible Rubio possesses, that would make him all the more indispensable to the Romney campaign come November: a gripping personal narrative.”
The Miami Herald‘s Marc Caputo noticed that “Marco Rubio didn’t come out and say “I endorse Mitt Romney.” Hannity had to ask him, so Rubio said “I am going to endorse Mitt Romney.”
Brian Crowley says this endorsement is all about the dollars:
“(T)hese endorsements are aimed less at voters than the folks who write the big checks. If they can be convinced that they are wasting money sending it to Santorum and Gingrich, those campaigns will crash form the lack of cash.”
Harry Enten dismisses the idea that VP Rubio could help Romney in any meaningful sense:
If Mitt Romney is losing by 3 points nationwide, he would still would be very competitive in Florida based on recent electoral history. So picking Rubio as his VP running-mate would probably help clinch a state he’d be expected to win in any event; with the effect of merely narrowing his defeat in the electoral college vote. The correct strategy for any candidate is to pick a candidate from a state that is either dead even or slightly leaning toward your opponent. That’s why Rubio would not be a golden ticket to an electoral college victory. And beyond helping Romney in Florida, there’s probably little else Rubio could do.
Florida Democratic Party exec. director Scott Arceneaux blasts the endorsement:
“On every issue of importance to women, seniors and Hispanics Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio have abandoned Florida’s families, putting partisan politics ahead of people. For those trying to read the political tea leaves out of this announcement take note — Senator Rubio has continually voted against the interests of middle class Floridians during his time in Washington, and his failure of leadership is well remembered here and will provide Romney zero cover in the sunshine state.”
The Fix adds Rubio’s endorsement to the Bushes’ and Demint’s:
“Until the Bushes, Rubio and DeMint stepped in, that is. The diverse elements of the GOP came together in that quartet of endorsements — DeMint and Rubio from the tea party wing, the Bushes from the establishment wing — to make clear to anyone who still had doubts that while it had been a good race, the race was now over.”
The Hill’s Christian Heinze noted how Rubio vouched for Romney’s conservatism:
“I have zero doubt in my mind of two things. Number one, that Mitt Romney will govern as a conservative, and number two, that he will be head-and-shoulders better than the guy who’s in the White House right now.”
Matt Lewis thinks Rubio made a mistake:
In my estimation, this makes Rubio a less appealing pick (as VP).
Selecting a running mate can be a cathartic experience. But how can Romney now unite the GOP’s disparate factions by picking someone who’s already on his team?
I still wonder if Rubio can make it past the intense vetting which will happen because of the Palin debacle.
Michelle Malkin questions the timing of this endorsement:
“(I)t’s like running up to the betting window at Churchill Downs three-quarters of the way through the race and trying to put money on the horse that happens to be in the lead.”
Zeke Miller wrote yesterday about Rubio’s long-standing pledge to remain on the sidelines due to personal ties to many of the Republican candidates:
“Newt Gingrich was been really helpful to him with his book. He serves with Ron Paul’s son. Romney endorsed him early on when he was running for the Senate,” the aide said. “There is the personal connection he has with the candidates, and then there’s also not wanting to get in the middle of it.”
Obama pollster Joel Benenson says Romney immigration policy is “pretty harsh” and picking Rubio as VP won’t turn Hispanic voters.
Mitt Romney issued a statement praising Rubio.
“Marco Rubio is living proof that the American Dream is still very much alive. From humble origins, he has risen to become one of the brightest lights in our political party. He has been a leading voice in the U.S. Senate and the country for the cause of restoring American greatness. He knows that the way forward is to end excessive regulations, shrink government, and get our economy growing. He understands that the way to strengthen our communities is to strengthen our families. He recognizes the dangers that will face America if we fail to maintain our military power. He understands how critical it is to bring new leadership to the White House. Senator Rubio’s endorsement is a major milestone in my effort to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Ann joins me in thanking him for the confidence he is placing in my leadership and for the great honor he has done me today.”
Karl Rove lies the way Marco Rubio is playing high-stakes VP poker:
“I think he might be asked [to be VP], but look, I think he’s got the right posture, which is it’s not seemly to go out there and say ‘I’m interested’.
I think he hit the exact, right tone, and look, you don’t want to be looking like you’re campaigning for something over which you have no control.”
Finally, there is this humorous take that is being Tweeted around: Rubio “When he told me he was the son of poor Mexican immigrants, I realized he was as good at making shit up as I am”