Rubio thinking about service to country after Orlando shooting
© Greg Nash

Sunday’s mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., has prompted Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: Amazon wins union election — says 'our employees made the choice' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists The growing threat of China's lawfare MORE (R-Fla.) to “pause to think” about his political future.

In an interview with "The Hugh Hewitt Show" on Monday, Rubio said the shooting has left him thinking about service to his country and community, though he stopped short of saying he was reconsidering his decision to not run for reelection to the Senate.

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“I haven’t even given it thought in that perspective, other than to say that I’ve been deeply impacted by it, and I think when it visits your home state, and it impacts a community you know well, it really gives you pause to think a little bit about, you know, your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country,” Rubio said. 

“Obviously I haven’t thought about it from a political perspective, but it most certainly has impacted my thinking in general about a lot of things.”

When Hewitt, who supports Rubio running again, pressed him to consider changing his mind, Rubio noted that his friend, Lt. Gov. Carlos López-Cantera, is running to replace him. 

But Hewitt followed up by arguing that Rubio, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, could bring important expertise to the Senate. 

“I want to be fair, Hugh. I haven’t thought about it in that context. I really don’t want to link the two things right now, because I don’t want politics to intrude in all of this,” Rubio said. 

“My family and I will be praying about all this, and we’ll see what I need to do next with my life in regards to how I can best serve.”

Rubio has long deflected rumors that he would run again for Senate ever since he ended his failed presidential bid. But the senator has repeatedly brushed aside those rumors and has fundraised for López-Cantera. 

A gunman on Sunday morning killed 49 people in a shooting spree at an Orlando nightclub celebrating Pride Week. The man, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria during the killings.