By Marc Caputo (Politico) –
In a complete about-face, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio officially announced an eleventh-hour reelection bid Wednesday, making him the instant front-runner in a key battleground state and lifting Republican hopes that they can hang on to the U.S. Senate.
The first-term senator told POLITICO he knows he faces a tough race in a state with a history of close elections and where opponents on the right and left accuse him of rank political opportunism for breaking his pledge to retire from the Senate if he didn’t win his presidential race this year.
Rubio said the election is too important to miss since the GOP could potentially lose the Senate majority. And in a sign he recognizes the damage his party’s de facto presidential nominee could do to his bid, Rubio said he wouldn’t hesitate to criticize Donald Trump when he makes inflammatory statements or advocates ideas he disagrees with.
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