Article courtesy of Reuters, written by James Oliphant
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, having lost his home state of Florida despite support from a party establishment worried about the rise of billionaire Donald Trump.
"While this may not have been the year for a hopeful and optimistic message about our future, I still remain hopeful and optimistic about America," Rubio, 44, told supporters in Miami after his projected loss to Trump.
It was a second straight disappointing week for Rubio. Last week in nominating contests in Michigan and Mississippi, he drew only single-digit support.
A first-term senator, Rubio had been considered by many mainstream Republicans to be the last best option to defeat billionaire businessman Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas for the party's nomination for the Nov. 8 election.
His voice strained and hoarse, Rubio did not launch the attack on Trump that many observers had expected, but instead seemed to rationalize the anger he said that led so many of his fellow Floridians to support Trump over himself.
Rubio congratulated Trump but also took several veiled jabs at the real estate developer's campaign tone, saying Republicans should not prey on fear and anger.
"From a political standpoint, the easiest thing to have done in this campaign would be to jump on all of those anxieties, to make people more angry, to make people more frustrated, but I chose a different route and I’m proud of it," Rubio said.
Featured Image: Republican presidential candidate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) gets a hug from his family following a primary night rally on March 15, 2016 in Miami, Florida. Rubio announced he was suspending his campaign after losing his home state of Florida to Republican rival Donald Trump. (Photo by Angel Valentin/Getty Images)