Rubio picks up Tillis endorsement

Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE’s presidential campaign on Monday picked up another endorsement from a Senate colleague.

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"Like myself, Marco came from humble beginnings and worked very hard to get to where he is today,” Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP and Dems bitterly divided by immigration Grassley offers DACA fix tied to tough enforcement measures We are running out of time to protect Dreamers MORE (R-N.C.) said in a statement released by Rubio’s campaign.

“Marco lived the American Dream, and he will ensure that each and every one of us can do the same," he added.

Tillis said he is supporting Rubio because the Florida senator “has an unmatched ability to inspire and uplift the American people."

“Through his vision of optimism and his strength of principle, Marco Rubio represents a bright future for the Republican Party and America,” Tillis added. “He has the unique capability of drawing new people into the party, which is critically important in a swing state like North Carolina."

Tillis was a key pickup for Republicans in the Senate following his election in 2014, and North Carolina, which holds its voting in the GOP primary March 15, is a big swing state.

Tillis’s endorsement follows Rubio’s second-place finish on Saturday in the South Carolina primary.

Rubio is rolling out the support of a slew of establishment backers after former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush exited the GOP race following the South Carolina primary on Saturday.

Rubio added the endorsement of Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDems look to use Moore against GOP Senate hearing shows Fed chair nominee acts the part Senate GOP votes to begin debate on tax bill MORE (R-Nev.) on Sunday, just days before the Nevada caucuses.

Rubio is battling Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (Texas) heading into the Nevada caucus on Tuesday, where Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE maintained a big lead in polls released earlier this month.

--This report was updated at 8:11 a.m.