Marco Rubio took another step Monday in the carefully planned roll-out of his apparent presidential campaign when he confirmed on national television that he will make a formal political announcement in two weeks.
“I will announce April 13 what I’m going to do next, in terms of running for president or the U.S. Senate,” the Florida Republican senator said on FOX News’ The Five show. He then flashed a broad smile.
He directed supporters to a website, marcorubio.com, where they could request tickets for the event, which will take place in Miami. Rubio wouldn’t say where, but the Tampa Bay Times reported last week that the likely venue appears to be the Freedom Tower downtown.
“You’re not going to have an announcement that you’re not going to run,” The Five’s Dana Perino joshed at Rubio, before telling viewers they should start booking Miami hotel rooms.
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“I’m looking forward to it,” was all Rubio would say.
He declined to contrast himself to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who is also expected to run but might not make it official until the summer. The only announced candidate so far is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, though fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky is likely to declare his candidacy April 7.
On Monday, Rubio pitched what sounded very much like the foundation for a presidential campaign speech that touched on the “American exceptionalism” theme he made during his 2010 Senate run.
“The time will come for comparison-shopping for voters and others,” Rubio said. “What’s at stake in 2016 is not simply what party’s going to win, or what candidate is going to run. The fundamental question in 2016 is what kind of country do we want to be in this new century.
“Do we want to remain an exceptional country, a land of equality of opportunity, the strongest nation on Earth?” he said. “Or are we prepared to diminish and decline? And decline is a choice — it’s not our destiny.”