Let me begin by clearing up any misconceptions right from the start – Marco Rubio DID NOT endorse a candidate while speaking to conservative talk radio (and now talk TV) star, Mark Levin. At least, he didn’t do it explicitly.
However, he did make what can only be construed as an implicit endorsement while discussing the state of the GOP Primary race.
“I’ve been pretty clear that I want the Republican nominee to be a conservative and in my view, at this moment, of the candidates that are still actively campaigning, the only one that fits that criteria is Ted Cruz. I’ve said that publicly.
As far as the delegates that we’ve earned, they’re bound on the first ballot. I want to make sure that they’re there on the first ballot, after that as you know, many of them will be free to vote for another candidate. I hope that they’ll nominate a conservative. The Republican Party has to be the home of the conservative movement, if not it loses its reason to exist as an organization.
There are all kinds of delicate rules regarding how long you can hold your delegates, so I want to be careful about what I say, other than to say, as I’ve asked these state parties, I want those delegates to still be bound on the first ballot. We’ll see what happens after that…”
So it seems that while Senator Rubio doesn’t want to make an official endorsement of any one candidate, he also wants to make sure that people understand his perspective on the race. The only conservative in the race, according to Rubio, is Senator Ted Cruz , and Rubio hopes that the delegates at the Republican National Convention (RNC) will nominate a conservative. Connecting the dots here, we must conclude that Senator Rubio will be throwing his support to Senator Cruz after the first ballot passes.
I think that we all knew this would eventually be the conclusion that Rubio arrived at, however I think some of us wondered if the turmoil of the primary process would be too much for the candidates to overcome. After this interview with Levin I expect that the Cruz campaign will begin actively courting Rubio in the hopes of smoothing over any lingering upset and getting Rubio to make a vocal and straightforward endorsement at the RNC. Come July, it will be the job of the (eventual) nominee to unify the party, to heal old wounds, and to refocus the GOP on the job at hand, which is defeating the Democrats in November. Attempting to suture the rift between he and Senator Rubio now would be good practice for Senator Cruz. I’d advise he get started posthaste.