U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio went on Fox News Tuesday to mount a red-meat defense of former President Donald Trump ahead of a Senate impeachment trial.
But his appearance with host Neil Cavuto included discussion of two potential campaigns where Rubio may square off against Trump or one of his offspring.
Talk abounds of Ivanka Trump challenging the second-term Senator next year, and of the former President running again in 2024.
The Senator, who admitted to Cavuto that he and Trump haven’t talked in some time, nonetheless was willing to sublimate his political ambition for that of the once and perhaps future head of the Republican Party.
“Donald Trump is the most prominent, the most influential Republican in the country. Anyone who’s running for President, and I haven’t made a decision yet, I have an election in 2022, as a Republican would have to take into account that the most prominent, most well-known Republican in the country would run again,” Rubio said. “Of course it would be a factor.”
“It would make a difference for anybody. It would certainly be a factor. But I’m not going to get into the political gamesmanship,” Rubio said.
The political gamesmanship isn’t limited to 2024. Rubio faces reelection next year, and again had to put on a brave face when asked about a potential primary challenge from the former First Daughter.
“All of us are elected. Every single one of us can be primaried,” Rubio said, noting he’s “never heard her say that” she wanted to run for Senate.
“None of us are entitled to run unopposed. People have the right to run against you. I’ve always anticipated that a Senate race in Florida is going to be tough. I’ve done it twice. It’s tough,” Rubio said, saying he was “ready regardless” of whoever the opponent might be.
Even a Trump.
“When the time comes, we’ll have a great campaign, we’ll have a great story to tell,” the Senator promised.
The last time Rubio squared off against a Trump was the 2016 Presidential Preference Primary, and the Senator was thrashed. Whether he has a narrative that is more compelling for Florida voters in the future than he did in that race is a question that can only be answered, once and for all, at the ballot box.
A Trump race, whether in two or four years, would be the ultimate proving ground.