Is his endorsement even going to make a difference?
Marco Rubio is close to endorsing Ted Cruz, but the two proud Senators — and recent fierce rivals — have some details to work out first.
Cruz has to ask for the Rubio’s endorsement, and both sides need to decide that it will make a difference, according to sources familiar with the thinking of both senators.
Rubio and Cruz, who are more friendly with each other in the Senate than they are with longer-serving colleagues, occasionally chatted and patched up their sometime-rocky relationship on the campaign trail heading into Florida’s primary Tuesday, when Rubio was blown out by Donald Trump and subsequently quit the presidential race.
The buzz about a Rubio endorsement of Cruz intensified after the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Thursday reported that the Florida senator called his Texas colleague “the only conservative left in the race.”
Rubio, who returned to work Thursday in the Capitol, told reporters “I don’t have any announcement on that today” when asked about a Cruz endorsement. Rubio indicated, though, that he might have something to say soon.
“There’s time to prevent a Trump nomination, which I think would fracture the party and be damaging to the conservative movement,” Rubio said.
Except for immigration reform and some foreign-policy disagreements, Cruz and Rubio have similar conservative voting records in the Senate. While their votes more often jibe than conflict, they have differed more when it comes to tactics and media strategy.