Rubio at Iowa Faith & Freedom 2015 Spring event.Photo credit: Dave Davidson - Prezography.com
Rubio at Iowa Faith & Freedom 2015 Spring event.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) announced on Wednesday that he has changed his mind and will run for reelection for another term as Florida’s junior senator. After a disappointing defeat to Donald Trump in the Florida primary that led to Rubio suspending his presidential campaign he planned to enter back into the private sector. He had already announced that he was not running for reelection.

Frankly, I’m not surprised that he changed his mind, and I’m glad he did. Rubio has not been a perfect senator, but he is a young, energetic voice for conservatism. He has been incredibly articulate on the life issue. He is a needed voice in the Republican Party.

He said he is concerned that the Senate continues to be a check and a balance to the President regardless of who that may be.

In politics, admitting you’ve changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here it goes.

I have decided to seek reelection to the United States Senate.

I understand my opponents will try to use this decision to score political

points against me. Have at it. Because I have never claimed to be perfect, or to have all the answers.

Still, the people of Florida deserve to know why I’ve changed my mind.

I have often said that the U.S. Senate can be a frustrating place. And it’s true. After witnessing the gridlock that grips Washington, I think just about every American – Democrat or Republican – would agree.

But the Senate is also a place from which you can perform great services for the people you have the honor of representing. And I am proud of the work we have done to help thousands of Floridians over the last six years. 

The Senate can also be a place from which great policy advances can be made. I am proud that we have done that too.

But as we begin the next chapter in the history of our nation, there’s another role for the Senate that could end up being its most important in the years to come: The Constitutional power to act as a check and balance on the excesses of a president.

Control of the Senate may very well come down to the race in Florida. That means the future of the Supreme Court will be determined by the Florida Senate seat. It means the future of the disastrous Iran nuclear deal will be determined by the Florida Senate seat. It means the direction of our country’s fiscal and economic policies will be determined by this Senate seat. The stakes for our nation could not be higher.

There’s also something else. No matter who is elected president, there is reason for worry.

With Hillary Clinton, we would have four more years of the same failed economic policies that have left us with a stagnant economy. We would have four more years of the same failed foreign policy that has allowed radical Islam to spread, and terrorists to be released from Guantanamo. And even worse, if Clinton were president and her party took control of Congress, she would govern without Congressional oversight or limit. It would be a repeat of the early years of the current administration, when we got Obamacare, the failed stimulus and a record debt.

The prospect of a Trump presidency is also worrisome to me. It is no secret that I have significant disagreements with Donald Trump. His positions on many key issues are still unknown. And some of his statements, especially about women and minorities, I find not just offensive but unacceptable. If he is elected, we will need Senators willing to encourage him in the right direction, and if necessary, stand up to him. I’ve proven a willingness to do both.

In the days ahead, America will continue to face serious challenges – the possibility of terrorist attacks at home and abroad, a declining military, anemic economic growth and low wages, assaults on our rights and values, outdated health care, education and pension programs in desperate need of reform – that face backward or uncertain responses from either Clinton or Trump.

No matter who wins the White House, we need a strong group of principled, persuasive leaders in Congress who will not only advance limited government, free enterprise and a strong national defense, but also explain to Americans how it makes life better for them and their families. I ultimately changed my mind about this race because on that front, and in that fight, I believe I have something to offer.

In the end, this was a decision made not in Washington, but back home in West Miami over Father’s Day weekend, with my wife and our four children.

There were two paths before us. There was one path that was more personally comfortable and probably smarter politically. But after much thought and prayer, together we chose to continue with public service; to continue down the path that provides the opportunity to make a positive difference at this critical and uncertain time for our nation.

In the end, there was simply too much at stake for any other choice.

It remains to be seen how much political damage was done by the loss. Those concerned about Rubio’s political future thought exiting the presidential race before would have been a wiser choice.

A former rival in the presidential race was quick to back Rubio’s reelection bid. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) said he is glad to support Rubio.

Marco is a friend and has been an ally in many battles we have fought together in the Senate. I’m glad to support him in his bid for re-election. Marco is a tremendous communicator and a powerful voice for the American Dream. At this time of great challenges, we very much need strong leaders in the Senate who will fight to restore economic growth, to defend our constitutional liberties, and to ensure a strong national security for our nation,” Cruz said in a released statement.

Susan B. Anthony List cheered Rubio’s decision, and said they were ready on the ground to help.

“For months the Susan B. Anthony List Florida team has been going door to door to speak with Florida voters – including women, Hispanics, and persuadable Democrats – about the importance of life issues in the upcoming election. We have knocked on more than 200,000 doors in the sunshine state. Sen. Rubio’s announcement today provides a shot of enthusiasm to our already robust pro-life campaign. Not only do we welcome his return to the race, we have laid the groundwork for victory on Election Day,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“Rubio is one of the strongest, most articulate champions in the fight for unborn children and their mothers. Sen. Rubio provides us with the strongest chance to win and maintain this consistent pro-life voice in Washington.”

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