Key Tea Party rep endorses Rubio
© Getty Images

Rep. Matt SalmonMatt SalmonSchumer tells Sinema he's backing her in Ariz. Senate race Comey fallout weighs on the GOP Conservative activists want action from Trump MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday threw his support behind Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE’s presidential bid, according to a statement from the Florida senator's campaign.

Salmon, who’s a key player in the Tea Party, endorsed Rubio as a candidate with strong national security bona fides who can take on the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"More than any other candidate, Marco Rubio has the right ideas to take on the threats we face around the world," Salmon said in the statement, which was provided to The Arizona Republic.

"As a member of the Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, [Rubio] has seen firsthand the importance of identifying our enemies and standing by our friends, and he knows what it takes to win the war against ISIS," he added.

Salmon, who represents a district near the border with Mexico, also touted Rubio’s stance on immigration and border security.

"When Marco Rubio is president, he will cancel President Obama's unconstitutional executive amnesty, sanctuary cities will lose their federal funding, and criminal aliens will be immediately deported," Salmon said. "As a border-state representative in Congress, I trust him to solve these problems once and for all."

After a strong third-place finish at Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, Rubio has been looking to unite establishment and Tea Party support heading into the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9. On Wednesday night, Rubio overtook GOP rival Jeb Bush in the number of congressional endorsements.

Since Monday's caucuses, the Florida senator has landed six endorsements, including one from Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Senators grill ex-Equifax CEO over stock sales Wells Fargo chief defends bank's progress in tense Senate hearing MORE (R-S.C.), which is expected to boost Rubio in the South Carolina primary on Feb. 20.