Monday, December 18, 2017
Politics

Marco Rubio says no worries about long GOP primary, he won't be VP and Syria is not Libya

Many Republicans are worried about the presidential primary dragging on for weeks or more, a battle that has already inflicted wounds.

Not U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

"We're all impatient. We all want to know who the nominee is so we can get to work," he said in an phone interview Wednesday with the Tampa Bay Times. "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. 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."

More from the interview:

Do you think it's time for Newt Gingrich to drop out?

"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."

Will you rule out endorsing (in the primary)?

"I don't rule out endorsing. I don't have any plans to, but I don't rule that out."

Mitt Romney continues to have vulnerabilities among people who identify as strongly conservative. Any concern?

"If he's the nominee, he's not going to have that vulnerability in the general election. You think strongly conservative people are going to vote for Barack Obama? Once the race is reframed, all the strongly conservative people are going to rally around the alternative to Barack Obama."

Are you campaigning for VP?

(laughs)

"I don't even know how you do that. No."

Are you still categorically ruling that out?

"Yes. I'm not going to be the vice president."

Rush Limbaugh's comments have become an issue. Do you have any reaction?

"I don't know. I'm responsible for the things I say. I don't have an opinion about everything that happens in the world. I think that's been dealt with adequately. He's spoken about it; he's apologized."

You don't have any thoughts on that?

"No. I'm not going to comment every time somebody on the radio says something."

Do you agree with the call by Sen. John McCain and others to use air strikes on Syria?

"I'm not as far along as they are on it. I think the military option in Syria is much different than Libya for a lot of different reasons. It's much riskier, much costlier."

But, he said, the United States could provide communications equipment to the opposition and encourage government loyalists to defect.

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