After losing his home state Florida to Donald Trump, Senator Marco Rubio has announced he is suspending his presidential campaign.
From LA Times:
As Florida approached, the senator’s team understood it was “Florida or bust,” as one fundraiser put it.
Because Rubio opted against running again for his Senate seat, his political future is now uncertain. He has long been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in Florida, where he has a home in Miami with his wife and four school-age children.
His past days on the campaign trail were as much as winning Florida votes as burnishing his image as a future party leader. He said he was “sad” about the coarse campaign and the violence at Trump rallies.
Though Trump loomed large in Rubio’s stumble, many also cite strategy missteps in a campaign that at times seemed overly confident and insufficiently committed to the hard work of retail campaigning.
The senator relied on made-for-TV appearances and spent much of his time courting the suburban, young families who Rubio’s advisors thought would be crucial to his success. Instead, angry GOP blue-collar voters drove the primaries, energized by Trump.
Rubio was also criticized for failing to put in the groundwork in early nominating states, and for swerving back and forth from his soaring optimistic outlook to a darker, angrier expression of “apocalyptic Armageddon.”
His past work on immigration reform legislation dogged his campaign, leading some skeptical Republicans to worry he was too lenient at a time when many preferred Trump’s proposals to build a wall along the Mexican border and block Muslims immigrants from entering the U.S.
Not quite nimble enough to adapt to the changed political environment, Rubio did become a better candidate, but he left too much undone in the early states to pave his success in the later ones.