Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida may have called GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump a con-man during his bid for the party nomination, but he would still endorse the business mogul if it would help defeat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
On April 20, Rubio sat down with the Miami radio station WIOD to discuss the Republican primary. The senator stated that he would support Trump if he were to become the GOP standard-bearer.
“I’ve always said I’m going to support the Republican nominee and that’s especially true now that it’s apparent that Hillary Clinton [will be the Democratic nominee],” Rubio said, according to The Washington Post.
The senator added “Hillary Clinton would be a disaster for America.”
This stance may surprise those who remember the animosity between Rubio and Trump when the Florida senator was still running in the GOP primary.
On March 12, Rubio blasted Trump for the violence of the business mogul’s campaign rallies, suggesting that Trump was encouraging confrontations between his supporters and protesters, according to Business Insider.
“I still at this moment continue to intend to support the Republican nominee, but it’s getting harder every day… I believe Donald Trump as our nominee is going to shatter and fracture the Republican party and the conservative movement,” Rubio said.
It is important to note that while Rubio seemed to change his tune during his recent radio appearance, the senator’s promise to endorse Trump as a nominee was couched between strong condemnations of the GOP front-runner.
Rubio dismissed Trump’s charge that the Republican National Committee (RNC) had rigged the delegates' game in order to deny him the nomination, according to Politico.
“These are the rules,” Rubio said. “He knew the rules, or should have, going in.”
The senator also slammed Trump’s campaign promise to bring outsourced jobs back into the U.S. economy.
“All this talk about we’re just going to bring all these jobs back, well, some of those jobs just don’t exist anymore,” Rubio said. “You just can’t bring them back because machines now do them… But Donald Trump has tapped into that anger and has effectively used it to win primaries and elections across the country.”
Some pundits thought that Rubio had unofficially endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for the Republican nomination when he told radio host Mark Levin that Cruz was the only true conservative left in the primary.
On April 13, Rubio clarified that his compliment of Cruz’s values was not an endorsement, according to Talking Points Memo.
“I’m not endorsing in this race right now,” Rubio said.