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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio knocks down speculation about 2020 GOP presidential primary



Sen. Marco Rubio generally praised moves by the Trump administration in an interview Sunday but is concerned the president “underestimates the influence that the Russians had in terms of interfering in the election.”

“It’s one of those issues that I hope we can convince him otherwise,” Rubio said on CBS4 Miami.

Also, Rubio, not surprisingly, knocked down talk of running in a 2020 GOP primary should Trump continue to struggle.

"I’m not thinking about running in any Republican primary ... I am enjoying my service in the Senate. I think that’s a hypothetical that isn’t even worth exploring because it isn't going to happen that way. I expect the performance in the White House will improve significantly now with Gen. Kelly there."

He praised Trump on Venezuela and Cuba policy and said he has encouraged Trump to support Everglades restoration. "You have a chance to go down as the Everglades president," the Florida Republican told Trump as they flew to Miami in June for the Cuba announcement.

Asked about the new immigration proposal championed by Trump, Rubio accurately sized up its chances. "That bill’s not going to pass," he said.

But Rubio said he supports moving to a merit-based immigration system, just not with an "arbitrary" cap. Had his working class Cuban parents sought to come under the proposal, they might be denied. "They came at a different era in our history. Our laws always are adjusted for the era in which we lived in," Rubio said. "Moving toward a more merit based system of immigration is a reality in the 21st century. That’s why every other industrial country in the world is doing that. I don’t want to limit legal immigration. I certainly want to change the way we conduct it."

[Last modified: Sunday, August 6, 2017 1:27pm]


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