Republican presidential candidates and Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio shake hands at the end of the debate held by Fox News in Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 28, 2015.
Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

Rubio sees Cruz as ‘the only conservative left in the race’

Forever more, Minnesota will probably have a special place in Marco Rubio’s heart: it’s the only state that held a nominating convention he actually won. And with that in mind, the Pioneer Press in St. Paul reports today that the failed presidential candidate spoke with “a group of Minnesota supporters” yesterday, and he pointed to one remaining rival as their potential next best choice.
[Rubio is] rooting for someone else to stop [Donald Trump] from winning the 1,237 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination – someone who can go into the convention with more delegates and a better claim than Rubio believes he would have been able to muster.
He didn’t endorse either Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the two other remaining candidates. But Rubio praised Cruz as “the only conservative left in the race.”
That may seem like an odd assessment – it’s not as if Kasich and Trump are moderates or liberals – but from Rubio’s far-right perspective, it’s fair to say Cruz comes the closest to matching the Floridian’s ideology and governing philosophy.
It’s unlikely Rubio will endorse anytime soon, and the senator will likely need some time to decompress and consider his next moves. But don’t be too surprised if Rubio does what most of the former Republican presidential candidates have not: endorse the leading Trump rival before it’s too late (if it’s not already too late).
The same Pioneer Press report added that Rubio, in the same conference call, blamed the media in part for his failures.
“This election was entirely driven by national media coverage, in many ways,” Rubio said, in audio of the conference call obtained by the Pioneer Press. “When the media narrative goes negative on you, and all the news is bad, it kind of knocks us off.” […]
He said he “saw the bottom fall out of our support” after the March 1 elections, when Rubio won Minnesota but lost everywhere else. “The media kind of just said, ‘Marco Rubio had a terrible night, and it looks like the strongest anti-Trump alternative is Ted Cruz,’” Rubio said. […]
“When the media is constantly telling you, ‘So-and-so is winning and so-and-so is losing,’ it impacts voters,” he said. […] “The only thing that happened over the weekend was the constant drip drip drip of ‘Rubio’s losing’ ” in the media, he said.
While self-pity among losing candidates is common, and blame-the-media excuses are expected, I’ve honestly never seen a candidate receive so much fawning coverage and then complain so bitterly about news organizations.