Sen. Marco Rubio responded on Sunday to reports that former first daughter Ivanka Trump, who served as a senior adviser to her father during his four years in office, will run against him in 2022.
Rubio, a Florida Republican, seemed nonplussed about those reports in an interview with “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, but he went on to acknowledge that “anyone” is free to run for his seat should they choose to do so.
Initially, Wallace asked Rubio, currently the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, if he believed the GOP “is still the party of” former President Donald Trump and if so, whether it will remain that way through the next presidential cycle.
“The GOP is the party that nominated Donald Trump and the reason why it did, and ultimately got him elected — and he got 75 million votes” in 2020 — “is because you’ve got tens of millions of Americans that feel this economy isn’t working for people like them, that feel socially displaced even like strangers in their own country, and who believe that both of the parties, at least traditionally, in all of politics doesn’t understand or care about any of this, that they don’t matter to people,” Rubio said.
(Source: Fox News)
“Donald Trump did not create those things,” he continued. “He got elected because of those things. He got 75 million votes because of those things, and those factors, those feelings that are out there among tens of millions of Americans didn’t leave when he left on Wednesday. They’re still there. That’s why he got elected. And that’s what I hope we’ll be a party of.”
Rubio went on to express “hope” that the GOP remains a party responsive to the core issues that earned Trump his first term and went on to expand his base of support in 2020, adding that he believes “the future of the country” depends on it.
Wallace then asked Rubio to respond to reports that Ivanka Trump is considering challenging him in two years and asked “how seriously” he took it.
“I don’t really get into the parlor games of Washington,” Rubio said. “When you decide to run for reelection in a state like Florida, you have to be prepared for it to be a competitive race. You run it like a competitive race.
“So that’s what I’m preparing to run, a very competitive race against a tough opponent,” he noted further, adding that it’s very likely he’ll face a “very well funded” Democratic challenger who could “out-raise” him, as happened in the two Georgia Senate races earlier this month.
“So that’s what I’m getting ready for,” he continued. “If you’re gonna run for Florida Senate, if you’re gonna run statewide in Florida, you’re gonna have a tough race, and that might include a primary. That’s their right under our system. I don’t own the Senate seat, it doesn’t belong to me. If I want to be back in the U.S. Senate, I have to earn that every six years.”
Earlier this month, Politico reported that former President Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, was considering a run for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, where there will be an open seat in 2022. Donald Trump Jr. is also reportedly considering a future in politics, the outlet reported.
But “the newest and most-buzzed about possibility” involves Ivanka Trump, Politico reported, quoting an unnamed source who told the outlet that her husband, Jared Kushner, is “working single-mindedly to promote his wife’s ‘political career.’”
Pressed further about a potential challenge from the first daughter, Rubio took it in stride.
“I like Ivanka, we worked very well together on issues, she’s a U.S. citizen…look, anybody can run if they want to. I’m not entitled to anything and so forth, I’ve got to earn my way forward,” he said.
Rubio went on to point out that he worked with President Trump over what he characterized as “the most productive of any U.S. senator from Florida in modern history,” including a VA reform measure that he sponsored.
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