Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando
© Greg Nash

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio calls on Airbnb to delist some properties in China's Xinjiang region Democrats seek to avoid internal disputes over Russia and China GOP senators introduce bill targeting Palestinian 'martyr payments' MORE (R-Fla.) traveled with President Obama on Air Force One Thursday to Orlando, where the president will meet with victims’ families and survivors of the mass shooting at a popular gay nightclub. 

It's Rubio's first flight on the presidential aircraft with Obama, whom he has vocally criticized during his political career. 


The Florida senator was accompanied by Rep. Corrine BrownCorrine BrownCarrie Meek, former Florida congresswoman, dies at 95 Bottom line Former Florida rep sentenced to five years in prison for fraud, tax evasion MORE (D-Fla.), who represents the Orlando area. Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William Nelson10 new astronaut candidates inaugurated at NASA NASA spacewalk delayed due to debris threat This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (D-Fla.) is flying on a separate plane with Vice President Biden, according to White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

Obama’s visit to the central Florida city is expected to be low-key compared to some of his other trips to the sites of mass shootings. 

The president won’t deliver a major speech as he has after other national tragedies, such as the shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, S.C., last year. 

Instead, he and Biden will spend most of their time consoling families of the 49 people killed in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and meeting with first responders to the attack. 

Rubio’s Air Force One trip comes as he weighs whether to run for reelection. 

He said Sunday’s massacre at Pulse nightclub has caused him to reconsider his decision to leave the Senate after one term. 

Schultz said Rubio and Obama likely would not discuss politics during the flight. 

Instead, the two men plan to talk about “the events today and the aftermath of the tragedy” and “making sure the people of Orlando understand the solidarity the president wants to show."

"This is a moment where Democrats and Republicans can come together and show that in the wake of a horrific attack," Schultz added.

Last June, Obama extended an olive branch to then-Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerFeehery: The next Republican wave is coming Rift widens between business groups and House GOP Juan Williams: Pelosi shows her power MORE (R-Ohio), inviting him to fly on Air Force One to the funeral service for a victim of the Charleston church massacre.

Updated at 1 p.m.