After losing his home state of Florida, senator and former Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has dropped out of the race. Rubio announced he will be ‘suspending’ his campaign indefinitely.
According to New York Times writer Jeremy W. Peters who is familiar with Marco Rubio’s exit from the race:
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Mr. Rubio made the announcement during a speech at his campaign headquarters in Miami after losing his home state by a large margin to Donald J. Trump.
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Mr. Rubio hushed the boos from the audience when he congratulated Mr. Trump.
“No, no, no,” he said, interrupting the jeers. “Guys, we live in a republic and our voters make this decision. We respect this.”
Marco Rubio and His Grand Exit
Mr. Rubio, 44, was felled by many of the same forces that drove other contenders from the race: a deep anger at the Republican leadership, a level of mistrust among the party’s most motivated voters, a field of candidates splitting up the vote, and an inability to stop Mr. Trump from exploiting all those factors.
But Mr. Rubio also notably lacked what both Mr. Trump and Senator Ted Cruz could boast of: victories in a string of early nominating contests. Mr. Rubio carried only Minnesota, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, sapping his campaign of critical energy and fueling the perception — no matter how hard he tried — that he was incapable of winning the nomination.
He claimed to be the only candidate who could unite the Republican Party, but he could never unite enough voters behind him to persuasively make that case.
And one crucial shortcoming was out of his control: his youth. Many Republicans were simply unwilling to entrust the presidency to a young first-term senator.
Mr. Rubio’s campaign was a cycle of high hopes and dashed expectations. He finished an unexpectedly strong third in the Iowa caucuses, only to be embarrassed in a debate three days before the New Hampshire primary, consigning him to fifth place . He came in second to Mr. Trump in South Carolina, then was to be all but wiped out in the Super Tuesday contests 10 days later.
The two-man race with Mr. Trump that Mr. Rubio and his campaign envisioned never materialized. Mr. Cruz’s early success in Iowa and the persistence of Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Mr. Rubio and his aides argued, prevented Mr. Rubio from gathering momentum.
Mr. Rubio’s strongly conservative beliefs and upbeat, modest demeanor made him appealing to voters across the Republican spectrum, but more often as a second choice than a first: Candidates more firmly to his right and to his left peeled away support that he needed.
Often described as a Republican Barack Obama, for better or for worse, Mr. Rubio would have broken barriers as the party’s first Latino nominee and was admired for his eloquence. But he also lacked much in the way of legislative accomplishment as a first-term senator.
Mr. Rubio seemed to coast through much of the early campaign season. He never fully committed to winning a state outright, a tactical decision that left him without the kind of victories that propelled Mr. Cruz and Mr. Trump in the first weeks of the primary contests.
Mr. Rubio’s humiliating performance in the New Hampshire debate inflamed doubts about the strength of his candidacy, after Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey scorchingly turned Mr. Rubio’s talent for delivering memorized lines into a liability.
He rallied in South Carolina, winning the coveted endorsement of Gov. Nikki R. Haley, and placing second on the strength of support from city and suburban dwellers, exit polls showed. Well-to-do voters also said they appreciated him describing his modest upbringing, as the son of a bartender and a maid, as the fulfillment of the American dream. But in Nevada, where Mr. Rubio spent part of his childhood, Mr. Trump ran away with the contest.
In the days leading up to Super Tuesday, when Mr. Rubio began to turn Mr. Trump’s mockery around on him, even making scatological jokes at Mr. Trump’s expense, some Republicans argued that Mr. Rubio had waited too long to go on the attack. And Mr. Rubio’s supporters worried that his assertiveness could either come across as impudence or sully his image, putting to waste months of trying to stay above the fray.
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