Marco Rubio loses colleague’s endorsement; Tampa mayor comes out against him

Senator Marco Rubio, AP file photo

MIAMI, Fl. (WFLA) – US Senator Marco Rubio is having a tough week. Senator Mike Lee of Utah had been campaigning for Rubio, his Florida colleague. But on Thursday Lee endorsed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

Lee said it is time for the party to unite.

“He is the only Republican candidate who can defeat Donald Trump and who can defeat Hillary Clinton and I believe he will,” Lee said of Cruz.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks with News Channel 8's Candace McCowan.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn talks with News Channel 8’s Candace McCowan.

This comes after Rubio failed to pick up a win on Super Saturday or Super Tuesday.

Now Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn is weighing in one Rubio’s work as a senator.

“I’ve never met him. I’ve been mayor for five years. He’s been the senator for four,” Buckhorn said. “He’s never come to Tampa to ask me how he can help. I understand he is a busy guy but you would think in the interest of doing his job and representing Florida that he would be interested in what Tampa’s issues area.”

“I think it tells the story of his time as a senator from Florida. He really hasn’t been here, hasn’t paid much attention to the state. He’s been focus on New Hampshire and Iowa in the presidential race,” said Buckhorn who made similar comments on national television earlier this week.

“I think he is going to lose so he’s going to have to make that choice” about dropping out, Buckhorn said.

“Well if he loses his own state badly, I mean that’s a referendum on his job performance and that is the ultimate referendum, so if he’s miserably defeated on Tuesday, I think the voters are telling him, ‘Maybe you ought to go back to the private sector and find something else to do,” said Buckhorn, an avid supporter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

News Channel 8 reached out to Rubio’s campaign but didn’t hear back this afternoon.

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