McConnell pressuring Rubio to run again
© Greg Nash
 
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia Overnight Health Care — Presented by Purdue Pharma — Trump officials ratchet up fight over drug pricing | McConnell says Republicans could try again on ObamaCare repeal | Dems go on offense against GOP lawsuit Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel MORE (R-Ky.) is piling public pressure on Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP leaders hesitant to challenge Trump on Saudi Arabia On The Money: Treasury official charged with leaking info on ex-Trump advisers | Trump to seek 5 percent budget cut from Cabinet members | Mnuchin to decide by Thursday on attending Saudi conference Mnuchin to decide by Thursday whether to attend Saudi conference MORE (R-Fla.) to run again for his Senate seat.
 
"I and my colleagues have been trying to convince Sen. Marco Rubio to run again in Florida," McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday. 
 
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"He had indicated he was not going to, but we’re all hoping that he’ll reconsider, because poll data indicates that he is the one who can win for us. He would not only save a terrific senator for the Senate, but help save the majority," he added.
 
Rubio pledged when he ran for president that he would vacate his Florida Senate seat. 
 
Unlike Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Noisy democracy, or rude people behaving like children? Lawmakers, Wall Street shrug off Trump's escalating Fed attacks MORE (R-Ky.), who simultaneously ran for president and for his Senate seat, Rubio has said he believes it's important that presidential candidates run for the highest office without a fallback plan.
 
But since his campaign for president ended after losing his home-state primary, Rubio has faced intensifying pressure to reconsider his decision to retire. He has until June 24 — Florida's filing deadline — to decide whether to run again. 
 
Rubio insisted in a Sunday interview on CNN's “State of the Union” that he's unlikely to reconsider his plans to leave the Senate, because a close friend of his, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, is in the race.
 
But McConnell said he's not giving up.
 
"We’re all lobbying hard for him to run again," McConnell told Hewitt.
 
"He’s been back in the Senate for six weeks. He’s, I believe, enjoying it, and being effective. Fortunately, Florida has a very late filing deadline. … So I haven’t given up hope,” McConnell added.
 
"He hasn’t said yes yet, but there are an awful lot of us who think that it would not only be good for him and for Florida, but good for the Senate if he ran again."
 
McConnell, who is fighting to preserve the GOP's Senate majority in a tough 2016 cycle, is not the only senior Republican lobbying Rubio to run.
 
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE, who taunted Rubio throughout the presidential campaign as "little Marco" and a "lightweight,” has made nice with the Florida senator in the weeks following his withdrawal from the race.