Marco Rubio is retiring from public life. For now.
Rubio, whose U.S. senate term ends in 2016, said that he won’t run for reelection, nor will be try to get on the Republican ticket as vice president. He’s not even going to run for governor of Florida in 2018.
“I’m going to finish out my term in the Senate, and over the next 10 months we’re going to work really hard here, and we have some things we want to achieve, and then I’ll be a private citizen in January,” Rubio said in a press conference, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Rubio dropped out of the GOP primary after losing his home state of Florida to Donald Trump by double-digits. He had been heralded as the hope of the Republican party, a fresh face who was seen as capable of attracting minority voters to a party facing a demographic problem.
“I’m not interested in being vice president, and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way,” Rubio said. He had previously been vetted as a potential vice presidential candidate for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Rubio was considered the favorite among the Republican establishment, and mainstream conservative outlets continued to trumpet “Rubio-mentum” (short for Rubio momentum) after the Florida senator finished third place in the Iowa caucus.
In what is widely considered a fatal moment in his campaign, Rubio was caught repeating the same canned line at a Republican debate right before the New Hampshire primary and was humiliated by New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
Rubio finished fifth in the New Hampshire primary.
On the issues, Rubio was seen as out of touch with the GOP base, who overwhelmingly opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants. In 2013, Rubio was part of the “Gang of Eight” senators who crafted an immigration reform bill that would give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
Still, politics remains a lucrative profession for someone with as much stature as Rubio, and many expect him take a job in a related area like lobbying.
Wonder if Rubio has sent Goldman his resume already or is waiting for a few months.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) March 17, 2016
It’s fun to laugh at Rubio, but a year from now he’ll be making high six-figures to just so some lobbying firm can put him on the letterhead
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) March 16, 2016