Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is preparing to become a full-throated sycophant for real estate mogul Donald Trump.
Rubio told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he would love to speak in favor of Trump at the Republican National Convention and that he was willing to put aside his differences with Trump.
“I don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president,” Rubio said. “If there’s something I can do to help that from happening, and it’s helpful to the cause, I’d most certainly be honored to be considered for that.”
The key word there is “honored,” suggesting that Rubio would happily embrace Trumpism in order to get a speaking slot at the July convention.
That is rather large about-face from Rubio’s rhetoric in the primary, when he referred to Trump as a “con man” and a “lunatic.”
“Forget about the election for a moment, there’s a broader issue in our political culture in this country,” Rubio said earlier in the primary. “And this is what happens when a leading presidential candidate goes around feeding into a narrative of anger and bitterness and frustration.”
Rubio even promoted #NeverTrump on his Twitter account:
So do these go up in value, like a rare postage stamp? pic.twitter.com/3NWIjdKjod
— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) May 26, 2016
Add your name here: https://t.co/NmPHhsu5Ik
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 27, 2016
Many conservatives were not pleased with Rubio’s change of heart:
If you can live with a con man, white supremacist sympathizer in white house for 4 years thats your right, too https://t.co/2YFUYMwTh3
— Steve Deace (@SteveDeaceShow) May 27, 2016
I supported @marcorubio because he had the best chance to beat Hillary and is an actual conservative. Pivoting to Trump is hard to watch.
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) May 27, 2016
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) May 27, 2016
— Jay Cost (@JayCostTWS) May 27, 2016
All kidding aside, I do feel bad for some Rubio supporters. A lot of decent people believed in him. Sucks to find out who he is.
— Drew McCoy (@DrewMTips) May 27, 2016
The pivot was so stark for Rubio that even Trump’s likely general election opponent, former Secretary of Hillary Clinton, couldn’t help herself:
Couldn’t agree more. https://t.co/gfk8NWAhIY
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) May 26, 2016
Why did Rubio suddenly change his view on Trump so drastically? Maybe this has something to do with it:
Poll data shows that @marcorubio does by far the best in holding onto his Senate seat in Florida. Important to keep the MAJORITY. Run Marco!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2016
As Hot Air‘s Allahpundit points out, there is a serious effort by the GOP Senate leadership to push Rubio to run for re-election in Florida, as he is the only Republican that can beat the likely Democratic Senate nominee, Rep. Patrick Murphy (R-FL).
“Far from being an inspirational moral leader, Rubio has shown himself to be more of an opportunistic politician with his finger to the wind.”
The Washington Examiner’s Phillip Klein
“Maybe Rubio wants to run again but needs a way to make it seem like he’s being drafted back into duty rather than selfishly seizing an opportunity to protect his political power,” writes Allahpundit. “That would be quintessential Marco, opportunism dressed up as idealism. If the party’s nominee pleads with him publicly to run again, even if he’s doing so at Rubio’s own behest behind the scenes, well, how can he say no? He’s a good soldier, after all.”
The Washington Examiner‘s Phillip Klein had even harsher words for Rubio.
“Far from being an inspirational moral leader, Rubio has shown himself to be more of an opportunistic politician with his finger to the wind,” writes Klein. “He latched on to the Tea Party energy when he needed it to launch a long-shot Senate bid against an establishment figure in 2010. He embraced the idea of comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 in the wake of a GOP ‘autopsy’ suggesting it was necessary to win in a changing electorate, but then downplayed it as it became a hindrance to his presidential campaign. Now he’s desperate to reconcile his past words about Trump — from just over two months ago — with his political need to fall in line behind his party’s nominee.”
Klein concluded his column by dropping the hammer on Rubio.
“For all of Rubio’s rhetoric about responsible leadership, he’s now willing to embrace a demagogue just because that demagogue has an ‘R’ next to his name. Trump, for all his faults, has managed to expose Rubio’s true character — and it is not pretty,” wrote Klein.