Rubio may sacrifice Senate seat to run for White House

 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) indicated Wednesday he might not seek to return to the Senate if he decides to mount a presidential campaign in 2016.

During an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Rubio said he agreed that Florida law was right to prevent candidates from seeking multiple offices.

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"I think that's the right law," Rubio said.

Hewitt then asked the Florida lawmaker if it would be "okay for you to seek the presidency, [and] if it didn’t work out, then switch back to the Senate."

Rubio appeared to indicate that he would not look to return to Congress if he failed in a bid for the Republican nomination.

"You know, I think by and large, when you choose to do something as big as that, you’ve really got to be focused on that and not have an exit strategy," Rubio said.

Rubio was first elected to the Senate in 2010, and his term is up at the end of 2016.

Many states allow candidates to run both for Congress and higher office. Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) was reelected to the Senate despite losing his presidential bid in 2000. Vice President Biden also won his Delaware Senate seat when running in 2008, and was replaced temporarily by his longtime adviser, former Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.).

If Rubio opted to run for president and not for reelection to the Senate, his seat would undoubtedly become among the most hotly contested in 2016.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is mulling a presidential bid, is up for reelection in 2016. To run for both offices in Kentucky, a new law would have to be passed.