After Orlando, Rubio Hedges on Possible Senate Rerun

He's said he won't run for re-election, but now tells radio host he's been thinking on 'a lot of things'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2016 1:44 PM CDT
After Orlando, Rubio Hedges on Possible Senate Rerun
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a news conference on June 3, 2016, in Doral, Fla.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Everyone has had Orlando on their minds since Sunday's mass shooting, including Marco Rubio—and the attack has "deeply impacted" the senator so much that it's made him assess "a lot of things," he told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt Monday morning, per Politico. The tragedy makes one "think a little bit about your service to your country and where you can be most useful," he told Hewitt, adding that the massacre hit him especially hard because it happened in his home state of Florida. He also noted that we've reached a "tipping point" of sorts as a country, which would exist no matter who the next president ends up being and that will be influenced by the "real foreign policy challenges" the US will likely face in the coming years. All of which led Hewitt to finally push Rubio—who's said multiple times he won't re-up his Senate seat—to run for re-election.

And that's something that's crossed the minds of Florida GOPers: A recent Mason-Dixon poll found 77% of the state's Republican voters want him to seek re-election, per the Washington Post. But Rubio (mostly) deflected Hewitt's prodding, saying that he has "a couple of things in play" that are occupying his mind these days (including spending time with his family and supporting his friend Carlos Lopez-Cantera to take his place in the Senate) and that "I really don't want to link the two things right now because I don't want politics to intrude on all of this." And the Post notes his support for Lopez-Cantera, opportunities in the private sector, and the fact that he lost his own state's primary are all good reasons to stay put. Jonathan Chait, meanwhile, is more cynical about the Rubio-Hewitt conversation, writing for the Intelligencer that it seems disingenuous that Rubio "suddenly" discovered there's a war on terrorism and that he's just now reacting to it and considering other options. (Read more Marco Rubio stories.)

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