For months, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a vanquished candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has vowed he will not seek re-election to the Senate. But Sunday's terror attack in Orlando may have him re-thinking the decision to retire.
Speaking Monday with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, who urged the senator to run, Rubio made clear that he has not thought about the attack that left 49 dead and at least 53 injured "from a political perspective," once again reiterating that a re-election campaign is "not part of our plan as a family."
However, Rubio asserted that the deadly attack is another indication that the country is facing a "tipping point" with all the foreign policy challenges on the horizon.
"It really gives you pause to think a little bit about — you know — your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country," the former presidential hopeful told Hewitt.
Pressed by Hewitt about whether or not he would consider launching a Senate campaign, Rubio said: "My family and I will be praying about all this, and we’ll see what I need to do next with my life in regards to how I can best serve."
But he does not have much time to think, if re-election to the Senate actually is one of his considerations, because the deadline to file his candidacy is June 24.
From the get-go, the Florida senator has remained committed to his decision to retire, noting the fact that his friend, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, is currently campaigning for his Senate seat — a reality Rubio mentioned in his Monday discussion with Hewitt.
However, Rubio's Republican colleagues have for weeks been urging him to re-enter the race, worried many current primary candidates will be unable to maintain their congressional seat for the GOP.
Florida Rep. David Jolly (R) is, according to Politico, considering dropping out of the race to replace Rubio in the Senate and instead return to his campaign for the House. If Rubio were to launch a re-election campaign, Jolly said he "would withdraw" and support Rubio.
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