Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) shamelessly piled on his praise for former President Trump as the Florida senator seeks a third term representing Trump’s adopted home state.
“I think he helps,” Rubio told CNN in an interview published Thursday, when asked about Trump’s effect on his campaign.
“First of all, he’s a Floridian, so I need his vote,” Rubio told CNN. “But beyond that, I mean, he’s brought a lot of people and energy into the Republican Party.”
Rubio’s remarks follows the former president’s “complete and total endorsement” of the Florida senator ahead of his re-election campaign.
Trump’s announcement last year of his endorsement of Rubio’s re-election bid came after the Florida egged on the former president’s false claims of election fraud that eventually led to the deadly insurrection at the Capitol. The former president’s endorsement also followed rumors of his daughter, Ivanka Trump, running for Rubio’s seat.
Asked by CNN whether he had any concerns about Trump’s election fraud falsehoods, Rubio claimed he wasn’t sweating it. Rubio said he’s supposedly more focused on the Russian conflict with Ukraine and the U.S. economy.
Rubio also avoided condemning Trump’s eagerness to pardon Capitol insurrectionists if he runs for re-election and wins.
“We have too many real problems for me to focus on hypothetical ones,” Rubio told CNN, while brushing off the Capitol insurrection as becoming a decisive issue in his race.
“What happened January 6 was horrible and it was a terrible day, it should never happen again. And people are being prosecuted for it,” Rubio said, according to CNN. “But what does that have to do with the fact that people are paying exorbitant prices for everything, they can’t find things, can’t find workers?”
Rubio reportedly said that he has spoken to Trump “a couple times” since the former president left office. A source told CNN said that their conversations often focus on foreign affairs, a subject they found common ground on during Trump’s term.
Pressed about his past attacks of Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign cycle, Rubio brushed off his past swipes at his former rival-turned-ally.
Rubio knocked Vice President Kamala Harris instead for her criticisms of President Biden during the 2020 Democratic primary,
“That’s what happens in the primaries,” Rubio told CNN. “Other people had a tougher go of it. (Harris) now is his vice president, I wasn’t vice president. I’d like to hear her answer on that before I give you my answer.”
Rubio’s latest praise of Trump comes weeks after the Florida senator refused to call out the former president for his failed attempts to get former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
Pence rebuked Trump’s baseless claim that the former VP had the power to overturn the election results when he presided over the Senate on the day of the joint session of Congress last year to certify Biden’s electoral victory.
During an interview on CBS earlier this month, Rubio dodged when pressed on whether he agrees with Pence’s pushback of Trump’s claim.
Unsurprisingly, Rubio deployed his tactic of swiping at Harris. Rubio baselessly casted Harris as someone who would commit election fraud if Trump were to run for re-election in 2024 and win.
“Well, if President Trump runs for re-election, I believe he would defeat Joe Biden, and I don’t want Kamala Harris to have the power as vice president to overturn that election, and I don’t — that’s the same thing that I concluded back in January of 2021,” Rubio told CBS earlier this month.