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Rubio endorses Romney

By Doug Powers  •  March 28, 2012 11:16 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

I’m not a big fan of presidential endorsements this far into a primary season. There’s not much risk and conviction involved — it’s like running up to the betting window at Churchill Downs three-quarters of the way through the race and trying to put money on the horse that happens to be in the lead. They won’t let you do that at the Kentucky Derby, but late bets are always welcome in politics, so it happens.

Mitt Romney reeled in his latest endorsement Wednesday night on the Sean Hannity Show:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a rising star in the Republican Party and a favorite among conservatives to round out the party’s ticket this fall, endorsed Mitt Romney for president on Wednesday evening.

Rubio’s endorsement is a marker of support that many candidates had sought. It comes at a point in the campaign at which Romney has sought to coalesce Republicans behind his candidacy.

“I don’t have a problem with primaries, but I think we’re at a stage now where at least two of the candidates have admitted that the only way to get the nomination is to have a floor fight at the convention,” Rubio said before announcing his support for Romney on Fox News.

In 2010 Romney endorsed Rubio over Crist in Florida, so this Rubio nod might be part “returning the favor” and part “fellow conservatives, I hear ya, but it’s inevitable.” Romney welcomes the Rubio endorsement because it’s preferable to lighting his hair on fire when it comes to helping reel in support from the base.

Cue the “Rubio as VP” talk. But Rubio addressed that earlier Wednesday, when he told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell “I’m not going to be the vice presidential nominee”:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Is it true that Rubio doesn’t think he’ll be Romney’s VP nominee? We won’t know for sure until Mitchell runs Rubio’s statement by her lead fact checker, Ken Salazar.

Also on the endorsement front, on Thursday, former president George H.W. Bush is expected to endorse Romney with a rousing “Read my lips, no new inspirations for Obamacare” speech in support of Mitt.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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