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Rubio: GOP contenders shouldn't be pushed out of 2012 race

Following his victories on Super Tuesday, former Sen. Rick Santorum has turned his attention on narrowing the GOP presidential field, specifically getting Newt Gingrich out of the race to free up more conservative votes and challenge frontrunner Mitt Romney.  Likewise, the Romney camp is also trying to narrow the field, claiming that Santorum, Gingrich and Ron Paul are only helping President Obama's reelection by staying the course.

It's all a smart tactic from a political perspective, but not all conservatives are on board.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio takes a "the more the merrier" approach to the GOP primaries, saying that no candidate in the Republican presidential field should be pushed to drop out of the race. In an interview Wednesday with the Tampa Bay Times, Rubio soundly rejected the strategy:

"We're all impatient. We all want to know who the nominee is so we can get to work," Rubio said. "So certainly, yeah, the sooner the better. But I'm not concerned. This is the process and the process will work its way through. What I think is very important for Republicans is not to talk ourselves into this idea that somehow because we're having a longer primary than we've had in past years that we're somehow doomed to failure in November. We are going to have a nominee whether it's next week, next month of three months from now. At that point, the election will be reframed. It will no longer be about the super PACs, or supporting Santorum vs. Romney or Gingrich or Paul. The election will become a choice between two very different people, between two very different views of America. And the election will become about the president's record."

When asked specifically if he thought Gingrich should bow out, Rubio responded:

"I don't think anybody should be told to drop out. I think people should run until they feel that either they don't want to continue or they don't see a path to victory. I've never been a believer in asking people to drop out of a race, because I had a bunch of people ask me to drop out of a race."

As for rumors of being a potential VP pick, Rubio insisted he's staying put in the Senate.  "I'm not going to be the vice president," he said.

One last thing…
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