Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said Wednesday that his family is on board if he decides to run for president, but he has yet to make up his mind about whether to seek the White House.
Speaking at a breakfast for reporters organized by the Christian Science Monitor, Rubio said he has spoken and emailed with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush since his onetime political mentor announced he would “actively explore” a presidential bid last month. Rubio declined to describe those conversations, but said Bush’s decision would not impact his.
“I think Jeb Bush is going to be a very credible candidate,” Rubio said, adding that he could “easily” raise more than $100 million to win the Republican nomination.
“From my perspective, the decision that I’m going to have to make is where is the best place for me to serve this country at this time in my life, at this time in my career,” he said. “And the choice before me is to continue in the Senate, especially now that we hope to hold an enduring majority, or do it from the presidency. And both of those avenues have their own set of opportunities that are alluring.”
Rubio reiterated his position that he would not stand for reelection should he decide to run for president. “If I run it will not be with the intention of looking for a Plan B if it doesn’t work out,” he said. “My intention if I run for president is to run for president.”
Rubio’s comments come as he is set to meet with donors in Florida this weekend before flying out to California to attend a gathering organized by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers.
Rubio declined to directly criticize Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King’s comments Tuesday evening, in which King called a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama to the State of the Union a “deportable” because she was brought to the U.S. illegally as a child.
“I believe that that describes to some extent one of the issues that we confront when we debate these issues,” Rubio said, adding, “We have to always remind ourselves that we’re talking about human beings with hopes and dreams and families.”
Responding to arguments from many Republicans that the next president should be a governor to draw a contrast with President Barack Obama, Rubio quipped: “If I was a governor I’d make the same argument too.” But he argued that a grasp of national security issues is more important than executive experience.
“I believe that the central obligation of the federal government… is providing for the national security,” he said. “The next President of the United States needs to be someone who has a clear vision of American’s role in the world.
“For governors that’s going to be a challenge at least initially,” Rubio added, “since they don’t deal with foreign policy on a daily basis.”
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