Rubio ends presidential bid
Campaign 2016 | After losing his home state to Donald Trump, the freshman senator acknowledges he couldn’t win the GOP nomination
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 3/15/16, 08:30 pm
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for president after losing to Donald Trump in his home state’s primary Tuesday.
Rubio went into today’s contests more than 200 delegates behind second-place holder Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and nearly 300 behind front-runner Donald Trump. Had he snagged the 99 delegates in winner-take-all Florida, Rubio still would have had an uphill battle to the GOP nomination.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps,” he told supporters Tuesday night. “While we are on the right side, this year we will not be on the winning side.”
Rubio fought hard in recent weeks to oust Cruz from his position as the candidate most likely to defeat Trump. He resisted calls that he drop out of the race to allow the Republican Party’s non-Trump-lovers to coalesce behind Cruz. But after losing Florida, he was forced to face the inevitable.
Rubio made foreign policy and immigration cornerstones of his campaign and worked furiously to win the votes of evangelicals. He put together a faith advisory board of well-known pastors and faith leaders and garnered endorsements from Joni Eareckson Tada and Wayne Grudem. He also consistently ranked first in WORLD’s monthly survey of evangelical insiders.
Florida law prevented Rubio from running for president and for reelection to the Senate at the same time. With his Senate term expiring at the end of this year, Rubio returns to Florida with an uncertain political future. He has admitted to disillusionment with the slow-moving Senate—part of the reason he decided to run for president and leave his seat after only one term. He alienated some Florida Republicans by opposing former Gov. Jeb Bush in the race for president.
“January of next year, I will either be president of the United States or I will be a private citizen,” Rubio told CNN. “If I never hold elected office again, I’m comfortable with that. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen two to four years from now, but I have no plans, no thoughts, no contemplation, no meetings, nothing, about any future political run of any sort.”