This past weekend, word got out that Senator Marco Rubio had reserved the Freedom Tower in Miami, Florida, for an event, possibly to announce his 2016 presidential intentions.
Those close to Rubio quickly tried to dispel the original Tampa Bay Times story as being false.
Asked about reports he had booked the Freedom Tower in Miami on that date for an undisclosed event, Rubio said he had not reserved a specific site yet.
Senator Rubio himself has been reaching out to long-time supporters and donors asking them if they could attend his April 13th event. Other staffers have been charged with calling other supporters and activists to attend the event on the 13th but said that the event time was not available.
Team Rubio could be in damage control, as several of Rubio’s staffers have been telling supporters that Senator Ted Cruz would pose a significant challenge for them among the grassroots activists in Florida and around the country.
Has Rubio read the writing on the wall?
Senator Ted Cruz announced his presidential bid on Twitter last Monday at 12:00am, and then followed up his tweet with his formal announcement at Liberty University later that morning.
But hours before Cruz tweeted his presidential intentions, Rubio spokeswoman Brooke Sammon pressed conservative talk show host Drew Steele from the Fox News radio affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida, to have Rubio come on his show at 8am, just a couple hours before Cruz made his presidential announcement at Liberty University.
Over the past several years, Rubio has rarely come on the Steele radio show and had denied numerous initiations from Steele.
Now all of a sudden, Rubio wants to be on the show on the very same day Ted Cruz announces he is running for president.
There is no question that Rubio has fallen out of favor with conservative grassroots activists around the country, especially in Florida, where many, including those living in the Fort Myers/Naples area, are now supporting Ted Cruz for president, and some others are supporting Senator Rand Paul and Dr. Ben Carson over Rubio.
How much has Rubio fallen out of favor with the grassroots because of his past support for a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens?
A recent U.S. News & World Report on Ted Cruz’s money haul in the first day of his presidential candidacy shows a very telling graphic of the extent of Cruz’s support in Florida.
Back in 2010, this was Rubio country. But it isn’t anymore, and neither is southwest Florida.
Just this past Saturday in Fort Myers, several of Rubio’s former senatorial campaign supporters told the Shark Tank that while they still liked Rubio a whole bunch, they have lost trust in him, and are firmly behind Ted Cruz.
One activists stated, “Cruz has not compromised his principles or betrayed our trust like Marco has. I am so disappointed in him.”
Rubio will run for president, but how much of an uphill climb will it be for him going up against Jeb Bush, with whom he shares the same donor base, and with Ted Cruz, with whom he shares the same conservative support?