AVENTURA, FLA. – Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., suggested former President Trump should embrace a competitive GOP primary if he chooses to make a third bid for the White House.
During an interview with Fox News Digital, Rubio was asked whether Republicans should automatically rally behind Trump upon entering the hypothetical 2024 race or have him slug it out among other GOP rivals like he did in 2016.
Rubio responded by predicting that if Trump did decide to run that he would win the nomination but that he shouldn’t be afraid of potentially facing others candidates and letting primary voters decide.
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“I think his view of it should be what mine is and that is none of us own these positions,” Rubio told Fox News Digital on Monday. “We have to go out every six years in the Senate, every four years if you’re president and win the support of people and earn it. So I think that’s true in the Republican primary.”
“I don’t know why- I’ve never been scared of primaries and what they maybe produce. I trust the judgment and the common sense wisdom of people a lot more than I do the common sense wisdom and judgment of the commentator class and the political insider class,” Rubio continued.
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Rubio, who was speaking at the National Conservatism conference in Aventura, Fla., clarified he doesn’t know whether there will even be a GOP primary, which is based on if other Republicans throw their hat in the ring against the former president but added they’re “certainly entitled to run if they want to” and “prove me wrong on the outcome,” which is ultimately decided by the voters.
However, when asked if he would back Trump in a GOP primary, Rubio refrained from offering his support.
“I’m not gonna begin to speculate about races that don’t exist,” Rubio told Fox News Digital. “I mean, I just don’t answer hypotheticals anymore because the world changes too much, it’s too dynamic out there. And you know, we’ll deal with 2024, we’re not even done with 22 yet.”
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Rubio was among the 17 Republicans who vied for the presidential nomination in 2016. He is currently running for reelection in the November midterms, facing off against Democratic Rep. Val Demings.
Trump is still in strong standing among GOP voters. Last month, he earned a whopping 69% support in the CPAC Dallas straw poll. Coming in second place was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with 24% support. All other Republicans polled in the single digits.
In a hypothetical primary without the former president, DeSantis topped the straw poll with 65%. Placing second was Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., with 8% backing, followed by Cruz with 6% and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with 5%. No one else topped 2% on the second ballot question.
Trump has repeatedly hinted at another bid for the White House in 2024, which now faces uncertainty after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago, increasing the likelihood that President Biden’s DOJ intends to prosecute him.
Fox News’ Andrew Kugle and Haris Alic contributed to this report.