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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Why hasn't Marco Rubio gotten behind Ted Cruz?



What is Marco Rubio up to?

Quickly after dropping out of the race on March 15, the night of the Florida primary, Rubio implied he would get behind Ted Cruz.

But Rubio still hasn't endorsed Cruz while a number of other notable Republicans have, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker included.

The Cruz embrace is not for love, of course, but to build the Texan into something bigger than Donald Trump. Rubio could be just waiting (his "allies" have had to endure talk of spreading Cruz infidelity rumors) but it's lost on few that the two could clash again if Democrats retain the White House.

Is there a 2020 calculation at work? Rubio's office did not respond to questions about Cruz.

Rubio has appeared to help Cruz by seeking to retain the 172 delegates he picked up before leaving the race. If it comes down to a contested convention, Rubio could stymie the front-runner. Some tongues are wagging about Rubio also putting himself in contention, but that's House of Cards fiction, for now.

Rubio's delegate grab -- which he has not publicly discussed -- has drawn media attention and social media commentary. Some have praised him for thwarting Trump, but many activists feel he’s playing games.

“@marcorubio I used to like U until U insisted on playing dirty with Trump delegates. U R showing us a sore loser. U will have no job soon,” wrote  @bestsellershere of Scottsdale, Ariz.

Whatever Rubio’s motivations, the Florida senator is clearly working to keep himself in the conversation. Fans have launched an “only Marco” campaign asking him to unsuspend his campaign. And Rubio’s Florida supporters are already openly talking about a 2020 run.

[Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2016 10:07am]


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