I am not 100% sure what to make of these latest comments by Rubio about what he will and won’t do for Trump at the convention. Are they a walk back? Are they a clarification of what he said originally? An exceptionally fine parsing? What?
“I may not be asked to speak, but if I am at a convention or any Republican gathering for that matter, what I would communicate is the things I believe in,” Rubio told Roll Call Monday. “I’ve never said I would stand and speak on behalf of someone else’s agenda. I would speak about the things I believe in, not somebody else’s platform or on behalf of anyone else for that matter.”
The former GOP presidential candidate clarified that while he has not been asked to make formal remarks at the convention, any participation would be in support of the party, not necessarily its choice for the nomination.
Well.. in point of fact, Rubio was asked point blank a couple weeks ago if he would speak on behalf of Trump at the convention, and this is what he said:
“I’d certainly, yeah, I want to be helpful, I don’t want to be harmful because I don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president,” Rubio answered. “Look, my policy differences with Donald Trump, I spent 11 months talking about. So I think they’re well understood. That said, I don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president.”
Now look, Rubio didn’t flat out say “Yes I will speak on Trump’s behalf,” but I don’t really know that there’s another way to reasonably interpret his intent with this answer without some Clintonian-level parsing.
Still, you can hardly blame Rubio for a hefty amount of backpedaling after Trump rewarded the Establishment who jumped on his bandwagon with the worst, most disastrous, most embarrassing week of his campaign, capped with some transparently racist remarks about a Hispanic Federal judge. It would just be preferable if he owned up to doing it.