Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is helping Florida Senator Marco Rubio with his re-election bid, according to a report by CNN.
On Wednesday, Romney made a call to about 20 potential Rubio donors and encouraged them to financially support Rubio. A recording of the call was provided to CNN.
Romney praised Rubio, noting that he had not just spent time with him on the campaign trail starting in 2012, but that the Rubio family had visited his home.
“We got to know each other pretty darn well, and I’ll tell you this: he is the real deal,” said Romney. “He is the same in private as he is in public, and that is a very impressive, thoughtful, insightful man.”
Romney, who has refused to endorse Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, conceded that it was looking very likely that Democrat Hillary Clinton would be the next president, and said that supporting the re-election of conservative Senators like Rubio was vital so they could serve as a check against her.
“The unfortunate truth about this election is that…most Americans are not really happy with either outcome, either the Republican or Democrat outcome.” he said. “But right now, Hillary’s in the lead, and if she were to win by too large a margin it would be very, very hard for us to be able to maintain the principles to keep America the nation that it is. It’s important that regardless of what happens on the presidential level, that we have Sen. Rubio able to be successful and win in Florida so we can maintain our majority in the Senate.”
“The nation very badly needs a win in Florida,” Romney emphasized.
The Koch network, a conservative donor network headed by Kansan brothers Charles and David Koch, apparently believes that Rubio is likely to deliver that win in Florida: they recently cancelled a $568,000 Florida ad buy that was going to help Rubio. According to The Hill, the ads were originally reserved for day of the Florida primary, August 30, through September 6.
“Rubio is running strong in Florida so we are realigning our television spend to other areas for this week,” explained Koch network spokesman James Davis. “We will continue to monitor things and make adjustments as necessary.”
Reportedly, the Koch network has plans to spend more than $42 million this election cycle to help maintain the Republican majority in the Senate. The money originally designated for the Rubio ads will be redeployed to other races.
Currently, the RealClearPolitics average has Rubio ahead of Rep. Patrick Murphy, the likely Democratic nominee, by 5.8 points.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.