Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Tuesday he plans to stay in the Republican race for the White House even if he doesn’t win the primary in his home state tonight.
Rubio said polls that show him trailing frontrunner Donald Trump by 20 points are “way out of whack” and “absurd.”
“Tomorrow our plan is to be in Utah campaigning irrespective of tonight,” he said in a radio interview on WDBO, which was first flagged by BuzzFeed. “It would be a lot better to go to Utah being the winner of the Florida primary. It would give us a tremendous amount of momentum. It would give us 99 delegates, and that’s the way we want to do it tonight.”
We went on to say, “I can’t guarantee a win today, [but] I’m telling you, we expect to win tonight.”
Rubio also reiterated that he would still back Trump is he was the party’s nominee but said that promise is getting more difficult keep as the billionaire says more “unacceptable” things.
“Every day that goes by, it gets harder and harder to imagine supporting Donald Trump if he’s our nominee, simply because I think that many of things he’s doing and has done are damaging to the conservative movement,” he said.
Rubio also predicted a “great reckoning” for the GOP if Trump is the party’s standard-bearer.
Florida is viewed as a must-win primary for Rubio’s campaign. TPM’s Poll Tracker Average shows Trump leading the senator by 21 points, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) only five points behind Rubio.
The campaign has battled reports that Rubio would drop out before the Florida contest after disappointing showings. CNN reported Monday that a major super PAC backing Rubio has not reserved any TV ad time after Tuesday’s primary.