MIAMI, March 15, 2016 – Following a stinging loss in Florida to Donald Trump on Mega Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio ended his run for the White House. Rubio’s decision comes a day after Rubio vowed he would fight on no matter the results on Tuesday.
Rubio has always enjoyed strong support in this working class suburb of Miami, an area where many Cubans first moved after arriving from the island 90 miles south. Rubio has long embraced his working-class Cuban heritage, constantly referencing how his father worked as a bartender and his mother as a maid after arriving in the 1950s.
He also delivered a rebuke to Trump’s heated rhetoric, saying he was proud that he did not run his own campaign by preying on Americans’ anxieties. “America’s in the middle of a real political storm,” Rubio said.
The Florida senator said it was “not God’s plan that I be president on 2016” and made a plea for Americans to not give up on the sense of optimism he tried to push.
“I ask the American people do not give into the fear, do not give into the frustration,” he said.
Rubio himself had already survived more than $40 million in attack ads from his GOP rivals, much of it from Bush’s super PAC. After outlasting Bush and Chris Christie, Rubio failed to consolidate establishment support, losing significant chunks of it to John Kasich. Rubio ended his run after winning just three contests, Minnesota, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.
The Republican establishment went all in for Rubio at the 11th hour, dropping $15 million in negative ads attacking Trump that ran over the last several weeks in Florida.
Ultimately, it was Trump who bedeviled Rubio, whose efforts to attack the frontrunner with the puerile insults that are Trump’s trademark boomeranged back at him.
In the closing days of his campaign, Rubio lamented the “violence and unrest” that some claim Trump incites at his rallies, questioning whether he’d be able to support him as the eventual nominee.