After losing his home state of Florida, Republican Senator Marco Rubio announced on Tuesday evening, March 15, 2016, that he is suspending his presidential campaign. Rubio, 44 made his announcement in Miami, after GOP frontrunner Donald Trump won winner-takes-all Florida primary by over 20 percent over second place Rubio. Trump won every county except Miami, which Rubio won. Trump won the crucial state’s 99 delegates.
Rubio made the announcement at his Miami rally, saying, “After tonight it is clear that while we are on the right side, this year we will not be on the winning side.” Rubio admitted it was “not God’s plan that I be president on 2016.” Rubio had rented an entire arena relying on a win that would have turned his campaign around; instead, he had only a few supporters. Although Rubio hoped to win, all polls indicated he would lose to Trump.
In his speech, Rubio continued to acknowledge the Republican Party’s problems and veiled his attacks meant for Trump and his frontrunner status. Rubio expressed, “There’s nothing more you could have done. America is in the middle of a real political storm, a real tsunami and we should have seen this coming.”
Specifically referring to Trump, Rubio said, “The Republican Party is not going to allow itself to be hijacked by fake conservatives and people who go around dividing us against each other.” Rubio pointed out that amid the “politics of resentment… I chose a different route and I’m proud of that.” Rubio said, “I ask the American people do not give into the fear, do not give into the frustration.”
Infiltrating Rubio’s rally, was a Trump supporter that heckled, “Trump for President!” the crowd booed, and Rubio could not help but jab the rash of violence at Trump’s rallies, saying, “Don’t worry, he won’t get beat up at our event.” Despite the animosity, Rubio has pledged to support Trump should he become the party’s nominee.
Rubio admitted this past weekend where his campaign went all wrong, it when he recently decided to abandon his optimistic message a “new American century” and turned to petty personal insults attacking Trump. Rubio repeated that he regretted the attacks, but justified, Trump needed a “taste of his own medicine.” Rubio might have had some laughs at Trump’s expense, but Trump laughed last, out insulting Rubio, naming him “Little Marco.”
Rubio’s campaign faced other problems, his inexperience as only a first term senator, and his support in 2013 of the Senate bipartisan immigration reform bill when conservatives oppose any form of amnesty. By insulting Trump, Rubio loss support, and struggled in the primaries as Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz amassed victories. Rubio only won three contests, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Rubio was up for reelection for his Senate seat but chose to run for president; now his political career will have to take a hiatus as of Jan. 2017.
The night filled with crucial primaries is being dubbed Super Tuesday 3 or Mini Super Tuesday. There are five major primaries for Democrats and Republicans on Tuesday evening, including Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. At stake is a total of 691 pledged delegates for the Democrats and 367 delegates for the Republicans. Four of the contests are winner takes all for Republicans including Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
On the Republican side, Trump has won four of the contests, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri, while Ohio Governor John Kasich won his home state with Trump a close second. Republicans held the Northern Mariana Islands Republican Caucus earlier in the day, with Trump winning the contest. On the Democratic side, frontrunner Hillary Clinton won Florida, North Carolina and Ohio but is in a close race with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in Illinois and Missouri.