Sen. Marco Rubio will speak at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches lunch today amid renewed pressure from his Senate colleagues — and late-night Twitter encouragement from Donald Trump — to go against repeated pledges and run for re-election to his Senate seat.
Follow @gbennettpost on Twitter and PostOnPolitics.com later today for coverage of Rubio’s speech at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
When Rubio launched his 2016 presidential campaign last year, he said he would not seek re-election to the Senate this year if his White House bid fell short. Five Republicans — including longtime Rubio friend and Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera — entered the Senate race, but none has gained much traction so far. Republican senators, increasingly worried that Democrats will win Florida’s Senate seat and take control of the chamber, urged Rubio on Thursday to get into the race.
Trump chimed in on Twitter late Thursday night.
“Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida. Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!” Trump tweeted.
Earlier Thursday, Rubio addressed the pressure from his colleagues, telling reporters: “I think Carlos Lopez-Cantera is a very good candidate so I understand the argument and the people who are coming forward and asking me to reconsider are people I respect and enjoy serving with, but I have a really good friend running for the Senate who I think is a good candidate, who I think gives us a real good chance to win if he were to be nominated.”
Asked if he’d run if Lopez-Cantera dropped out, Rubio said he would not address a hypothetical scenario.
Florida’s candidate qualifying deadline is June 24, so there’s four more weeks for the drama to play out.