MIAMI — Marco Rubio will run for president and forgo re-election to the Senate, the Florida Republican confirmed to supporters on Monday.
Rubio, 43, plans to make his intentions public Monday at 6 p.m. during a glitzy 2016 rollout inside downtown Miami's historic Freedom Tower. But the senator personally leaked the news Monday morning during a breakfast meeting with about 60-70 campaign contributors, one of the many pre-game events surrounding Rubio's launch that his political team has scheduled, according to one supporter who was in attendance. Rubio's campaign team has a political briefing planned for supporters at noon.
Rubio on Monday morning also held a "national investor" conference call with campaign contributors and bundlers who were not in Miami for the senator's carefully planned announcement. During the breakfast meeting in South Florida, the first-term senator said his presidential campaign would offer Americans a message of "aspiration" and "inspiration," and shy away from attacking his opponents for the GOP nomination — and fighting old political battles.
Rubio said his intention wasn't to promise voters a perfect life, but to tell them they could have a remarkably improved and more comfortable life under his policy approach. Democrats dismissed Rubio's announcement as more of the same from a Republican Party that is out of touch with the middle class.
"This evening, Marco Rubio will announce his candidacy for president, and we're likely to hear him try to reframe himself as a candidate with a 'new vision' for the future and a champion of the 'American Dream,' " Democratic National Committee spokesman Mo Elleithee said in a memo issued after word of Rubio's plans emerged. "The reality? Rubio is no leader with fresh ideas — he's the latest Republican politician peddling a tired playbook of policies that endanger our country, hurt the middle class, and stifle the American dream."
Rubio becomes the third Republican to make his White House bid official, following Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, launched her presidential campaign on Sunday.