South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley officially endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio Wednesday as he looks to make a move three days before the first primary in the South.
In her introduction of Rubio during an event in Chapin, S.C., Haley talked extensively about being the daughter of immigrants before discussing her reasons for endorsing the Florida senator, pointing to the seriousness of the 2016 race and Rubio's backing of the military.
"When it was time to look at this presidential race, I thought, from a different perspective, that this is serious. That this matters," Haley said. "I wanted somebody to show my parents that the best decision they could make for their children was coming to America," Haley said.
Haley told the crowd that Rubio will bring a "conscience" back to the nation's capital and a know-how on the world stage, citing him as the most qualified candidate in the GOP field to deal with challenges abroad. The South Carolina primary is Saturday.
"We have good people in this race ... and I thank them today for their sacrifice and their willing to serve, to honor this great country and make her better." Haley said. "But my job was to find the person I thought could do it the best.
"I wanted somebody with fight. I wanted somebody with passion. I wanted somebody with conviction to do the right thing," Haley said before going back to her upbringing. "I wanted somebody that was going to go and show my parents that the best decision they ever made was coming to America."
The South Carolina governor finished her introduction by telling attendees that "every day will be a great day" if Rubio wins both the Republican nomination and the general election in November.
"If we elect Marco Rubio, every day will be a great day in America," Haley concluded before ceding the floor to Rubio.
Haley's endorsement had been sought out by many in the race, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. However, in the wake of the announcement, Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign tried raising expectations for Rubio, who snared Haley's endorsement after winning those from South Carolinians Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy.
The Florida senator is battling Cruz for second in the Palmetto State, with him trailing his Senate colleague by only 0.4 percent in the latest RealClearPolitics average (16.8-16.4 percent). The pair continue to trail Donald Trump, who leads with 34.8 percent backing.