Politics

Rubio Says He Won't Speak on Trump's Behalf at GOP Convention

Florida senator says he would talk about own beliefs to Republican audience

Sen. Marco Rubio says he wouldn't  speak on behalf of anyone else at this year's GOP convention. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Marco Rubio wants to make clear that if he speaks at the Republican National Convention this July, he will not be on stage as a Donald Trump surrogate.  

"I may not be asked to speak, but if I am at a convention or any Republican gathering for that matter, what I would communicate is the things I believe in," Rubio said Monday.  

He said that no one has reached out to him about a potential speaking slot.  

Rubio said his vision is, in some cases, "substantially different from what Donald is offering, and that's why I'm not sure I'm going to be asked to speak at the convention."  

[ GOP Senators Criticize Trump's Comment on Judge ]  

After Trump's comments suggested that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel should not preside over a case against Trump University due to his Mexican-American heritage, Rubio was among the GOP lawmakers saying that Trump should stop the rhetoric.  

"I've never said I would stand and speak on behalf of someone else's agenda," Rubio said. "I would speak about the things I believe in, not somebody else's platform or on behalf of anyone else for that matter."  

The Florida Republican, who called off his own White House bid earlier this spring, also said he understands the difficulty fellow GOP senators are having backing Trump. Rubio continues to hold to his commitment to support the nominee.   

"This is tough decision for a lot of Republicans to make because, on the one hand, you don't want Hillary Clinton to win, and he truly is the only way to stop her. On the other hand, you have something like what you've seen today and over the last few days. So, it puts everybody in a tough spot," Rubio said.  

Rubio also said he did not anticipate a Trump presidency would lead to religious or ethnic tests for federal appointments.  

[ Rubio to Trump: I'm Not Interested in VP ]  

"To pass a law in this country, you need to go through Congress to do it, so I don't think Congress would ever support any religious or ethnic test for a federal judgeship," he said, before being pressed on the possibility a Trump administration could impose rules internally for picking nominees to Senate-confirmed posts. "As far as internal decision-making process? I would hope not. I mean, he's never said he would."  

Rubio declined to discuss his own politically future or the increasing calls for him to reverse course and seek another term as a senator from Florida.  

[ Republican Urge Rubio to Reconsider Senate Run ]  

 "Being the nominee of a major party for president brings with it a level of responsibility, and it has been my hope, and continues to be I suppose that he'll fully assume that responsibility and carry it out in a way that reflects the situation."  

Contact Lesniewski at NielsLesniewski@cqrollcall.com and follow him on Twitter @nielslesniewski.    

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