PALM BEACH, Fla., March 15, 2016 Donald Trump wins all 99 delegates in Florida, forcing Marco Rubio out of the Republican race, and taking the lead in delegates. Results were consistent with polling ahead of the primary that put Trump in the lead despite Rubio insisting he could and would win Florida.
Rubio has has represented Florida in the Senate since 2011 and in the state legislature since 2000.
“Tomorrow is the day when we’re going to shock the country, and we’re going to do what needs to be done,” Rubio said at a campaign event on Monday.
Senator Rubio, spent large amounts of time campaigning in Florida ahead of the Sunshine State’s primary. Trump’s win in Florida was also a loss for Republicans who want to ensure that he doesn’t get the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination ahead of the party’s convention.
Rubio said at a debate earlier this month that he would support Trump if he became the nominee. He gave a shakier answer at an event on Saturday, although he maintained he currently plans to support whoever wins the nomination.
“I still at this moment continue to intend to support the Republican nominee, but it’s getting harder every day,” he said.
Rubio, who appeared headed to a blow-out loss in his home state, said he would exit the race, telling supporters in Miami that “America is in the middle of a real political storm, a tsunami, and we should have seen this coming.”
While slamming “the politics of resentment,” the first-term senator who had predicted that the winner of the Florida primary would win the GOP nomination congratulated Trump on his victory. At one point during the speech, a Trump supporter heckled Rubio by repeatedly shouting the businessman’s name.
Kasich and Rubio both faced must-win primaries in their home states of Ohio and Florida, while Cruz — currently in second place to Trump in the Republican delegate hunt — looked for upset wins in the other states. Florida and Ohio are also important for another reason: Primary winners get all the delegates, 99 in Florida and 66 in Ohio.
Kasich indicated that he will take a more aggressive approach to the front-running Trump, telling reporters he will be “forced going forward to talk about some of the deep concerns I have about the way this campaign has been run by some others — by one other, in particular.” Rubio and Kasich said Trump lacks the temperament to be president.
They said his economic ideas, including proposed tariffs on foreign goods, would spike up prices and bring on a recession, and that he would lose a general election in the fall to likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.