Key Tea Party rep endorses Rubio

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Rep. Matt SalmonMatt SalmonLGBT fight dooms spending bill on House floor A hearing brought to tears over Right to Try legislation Time for national Right to Try legislation MORE (R-Ariz.) on Thursday threw his support behind Marco RubioMarco RubioWhich GOP pols will actually attend the convention? Poll: Rubio holds massive lead in primary Rubio: Turkey attack 'directed' by ISIS 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 ScottTim ScottTrump veepstakes in overdrive Police: 3 killed in Tel Aviv terrorist shooting GOP senators propose sending ISIS fighters to Gitmo MORE (R-S.C.), which is expected to boost Rubio in the South Carolina primary on Feb. 20.

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