'Victory Lane' reveals division between Marco Rubio, Northeast Florida Republicans – Florida Politics (blog)
The most notable thing about Sen. Marco Rubio‘s last visit to Northeast Florida as a 2016 candidate: one last illustration of the fact that while he never actually got comfortable with the idea of Donald Trump as GOP standard bearer, one of his strongholds of support — Duval County — made peace with it long ago.
Consider the gap between the rhetoric of two of those who spoke before him (John Rutherford, GOP candidate in Florida’s 4th Congressional District, and State Sen. Aaron Bean).
Both men — who were enthusiastic speakers at Thursday’s Trump rally in Jacksonville — doubled down on that enthusiasm on Saturday night at a campaign event on Jacksonville’s Southside.
Rutherford’s voice boomed when he exhorted voters to “make America great again by voting for Donald J. Trump.”
Bean referred to a “packed house” of people who “want to make America great again.”
Rubio — as well as the man who introduced him on Saturday night, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera — demurred from such exhortation.
Lopez-Cantera didn’t address the top of the ticket at all.
Rubio, in his remarks, did what he’s done throughout the campaign: allude to the presidential race, while offering a tepid endorsement of the candidate by way of explaining the importance of the Senate race.
Rubio, after saying that North Florida is “victory lane for those who believe in limited government,” did say the “presidential race is extremely important,” as “we can’t afford a president under FBI investigation.”
Then, in discussing the current and future vacancies on the Supreme Court, the senator made an interesting observation.
“You can even survive a bad president,” but America “can’t survive as a republic” if the court goes liberal.
Rubio did allude to the 2000 presidential race, speculating on what 9/11 would have been like “if it had gone the other way,”