Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks to the media on June 3, 2016 in Doral, Fla.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty

The Trump questions Marco Rubio simply can’t answer

Updated
Arguably no one in Republican politics is facing as severe a dilemma as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). While plenty of GOP officeholders have struggled with questions about Donald Trump, the far-right Floridian is on record calling Trump a “con man,” a “lunatic,” and a dangerous “liar” who cannot be trusted with the nation’s nuclear arsenal. And yet, Rubio is endorsing Trump anyway, even while standing by his previous criticisms.

The result is a dynamic that’s proving to be awkward for the failed presidential candidate, who’s now running for a Senate seat he said he didn’t want. Not only are Democrats hammering Rubio for his unprincipled partisanship, the Republican lawmaker is also facing questions he doesn’t know how to answer. The Huffington Post reported last night:
As CNN’s Manu Raju reported, Rubio evaded several questions while speaking with reporters in Naples, Florida. When asked if he believes Trump will “keep the country safe,” Rubio dodged, saying “the military is what keeps us safe and we have to rebuild our military.”

And when asked whether he thinks his children can look up to the GOP nominee, Rubio ― who is running for re-election ― turned the question to his own race. “Most Americans, people look at this and say, ‘These are not ideal choices.’” he said. “That’s why one of the reasons I ran for Senate, because I know that no matter who wins, we’re going to have to have a strong Senate.”
It’s answers like that lead Democrats to believe Rubio might be beatable after all.

We talked the other day about the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s decision to effectively give up on the Florida race and direct its resources elsewhere. Last night, however, Rachel reported on the show that the Senate Majority PAC, the largest super PAC supporting Senate Democrats this year, has decided to make one last, seven-figure investment in the race, hoping to propel Rep. Patrick Murphy (D) past Rubio.

Soon after, the White House announced that President Obama will campaign for Murphy in Orlando today – the president’s second appearance in Florida in the last week.

Make no mistake: Rubio is still favored to win this Senate race. But while Democrats appeared quite recently to be giving up on the contest altogether, that no longer appears to be the case.

Update: Soon after I published this, PPP released a poll showing Rubio and Murphy tied.