2016: Sen. Marco Rubio Expects ‘An Ideas Primary’

AP Photo
AP Photo

While Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) continues to takes shots at the idea of Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate in 2016, his Republican colleague Sen. Marco Rubio is taking a more polite approach.

In an interview with Breitbart News, the junior senator from Florida acknowledged that “anyone is allowed to run for president in America,” even someone who’s had multiple opportunities in the past.

“If he wants to run again he has an absolute right to do it, he’s going to raise a lot of money, he would obviously be a credible candidate – when you have name recognition and the experience of having run before,” Rubio explained. “But in my heart of hearts, and I don’t mean this as a slight on him or anyone in the race, I honestly believe that the only way we’re going to win in 2016 is to provide a clear and compelling contrast with whoever the Democrats nominate.”

Republicans can only win, Rubio explains, if they successfully win the argument that the GOP is the party focused on the future success of America.

“They want someone who understands what the threats are and how to fix it and I think that’s going to matter more at this point than how many times you ran before or what your last name is or how well known you are, I really do,” he said. “I think this is going to be an ideas primary.”

When asked about other established candidates signaling interest in the race, such as Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Jeb Bush, Rubio encouraged Republicans to examine ideas instead of personalities.

“I think 2016 is going to be less about personalities and a lot more about the ideas,” he said, adding that many of the people interested in running already had “well established personalities.”