Sen. Marco Rubio, during an “extended” interview on the May 29, 2016-edition of CNN’s “State of the Union,” talked reflectively about the presidential campaign and his future. Rubio said Donald Trump shouldn’t change his campaign style, and that he won’t be running as Trump’s VP, for reelection to the U.S. Senate nor for Governor of Florida.
When Jake Tapper asked Rubio about Trump’s campaign strategy to focus on the Clintons’ past scandals. Rubio said, Trump shouldn’t change:
That’s not the way I would have conducted the campaign, because that’s not who I am, right? This is who Donald is. This is how he does things. And at this point, I don’t think he should change if he’s been successful.
I may not like that direction, but, at this point, he won and this is the direction that he won on.
Asked if the door was still closed to being Donald Trump’s vice president, Rubio slammed it shut:
It is, because in my view, that wouldn’t be the right choice for him.
You know, Donald I think deserves to have a vice president, he’s earned the nomination, and he deserves to have a running mate that more fully embraces some of the things he stands for. I mean, I want him to be successful, because if he’s successful that means Hillary Clinton didn’t win. But we have real policy differences on foreign policy and on some other issues.
And I think he just — he would be better served by having someone more aligned with him on some of these things or someone who didn’t run against him and had some of the interaction that we had. You know, if I were his running mate, you could see the ads now, where they’d be playing back my words and saying, you said this about him then but now you’re saying something different.
So, I just think it’s best for him, for the party and for the ticket to have someone that more fully embraces his views on some of these things.
Rubio also explained why he won’t run for reelection to the U.S. Senate:
RUBIO: You know, it’s interesting. If my term had ended in 2018 instead of 2016, I might very well run for reelection. One of the things that bothers me the most was that article. It still bothers me in October saying Marco Rubio hates the Senate. Someone who knows him really well told us so. It just isn’t true.
I’ve never said those words to anyone in my life. I hated the way Harry Reid ran the Senate. I was frustrated at the way the Senate was operating. But I don’t hate my job in the Senate. It’s one of the great blessings I’ve had in my life.
TAPPER: So why are you leaving it? Why are you walking away?
RUBIO: Well, because when I ran for president, I really believed this. I really believed that if you’re going to run for president, you’re running for president. You’re not saying to yourself or your team, but guys remember, I don’t want to leave the Senate. So if things don’t start working out well, we need to get out of this race as quickly as possible so I can get back to running . . .
RUBIO: And the other is, look, I have a real good friend I’ve known for a long time who is running for the Senate. I didn’t run. I said I wasn’t going to. He got into the race. He’s a lieutenant governor of Florida. I think he’s a strong — Carlos Lopez-Cantera. He’s a strong candidate. . . . I think he’s put in time and energy to it and he deserves the chance to see where he can take it.
TAPPER: If you didn’t have a friend running, might you reconsider?
RUBIO: Maybe. . . .
When asked why he wont run for Governor of Florida in 2018, Rubio said because he would have to leave the Senate immediately and you shouldn’t run for positions because just they’re available:
RUBIO: Well, because ultimately that would mean leaving the Senate and immediately beginning a campaign, number one. Number two, I don’t think you run for positions because they’re available. You run for a position because you’re passionate about what you can contribute.
And being governor of Florida is a very important position. But it’s not something, at least at this moment, and I don’t anticipate that’s going to change, in fact I’m pretty sure it won’t, I don’t have at this moment anyway, this burning desire to run for that office or some other office.
TAPPER: But the way you talk about what you’re doing in the Senate and how you want to change people’s lives when it comes to Zika, when it comes to human rights in Venezuela, when it comes to the opioid epidemic in this country, you do sound like you’re passionate about public service.
RUBIO: Sure. I mean, there’s a sense of purpose in getting up in the morning and saying, I just found out about something it’s really bad and I have an ability to do something about it, to call attention to it.
TAPPER: So why are you walking away from…
TAPPER: … public service at —
RUBIO: Well, I don’t know. I mean, I’m not saying I’m walking away. If there’s an opportunity for me to run in the future and it’s right for my family, I’ll consider it.
There is much more to this fascinating interview– Rubio speaks about many of the missteps during the presidential campaign, the Clintons, and his relationships with some of his fellow presidential candidates. The interview offers you a deeper understanding of the man who is one of the best communicators and politicians I have known. I recommend the entire interview to you.