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South Florida Republican congressional delegation throws support behind Marco Rubio

A trio of South Florida congressional leaders have officially backed Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior U.S. senator in his 2016 presidential bid.

U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart, and Carlos Curbelo said Monday they were endorsing Rubio.

“From his leadership on foreign policy to his focus on improving our economy, Marco understands our country’s needs. From his days as an intern in my Miami congressional office to his service in the Florida House and the U.S. Senate, he has shown that he will enthusiastically tackle the problems we face with innovative policy proposals,” said Ros-Lehtinen in a prepared statement.

All three members of the delegation were supporting Jeb Bush. Ros-Lehtinen traveled to New Hampshire in December to stump for the former Florida governor

“From our days in the Florida legislature, I’ve known Marco Rubio to be a principled man committed to public service. This commitment and his vision for the future of this great nation make him the strongest candidate for the Republican nomination,” said Diaz-Balart in a statement. “It’s no secret that the current administration has left our country weakened and divided. We need someone who will not only win back the White House in November, but who will also put our country back on a path to prosperity.”

Curbelo said Rubio “represents a new generation of American leadership and is uniquely capable of uniting Republicans and inspiring all Americans.”

“Republicans deserve a nominee who respects the American people, defends our constitutional principles, and can bridge the partisan divide in Washington,” he said.

Former U.S. Rep. Diaz-Balart also expressed support for Rubio.

“Only Marco can unite our party, defeat Hillary Clinton, and save and strengthen the America that we love,” Diaz-Balart said in a statement. “Marco is brilliant, he can win and he is ready to be president.”

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