Rubio: Trump will be 2020 GOP nominee and win general election

Rubio: Trump will be 2020 GOP nominee and win general election
© Anna Moneymaker

Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioElection security bills face GOP buzzsaw Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw The Hill's Morning Report — Uproar after Trump's defense of foreign dirt on candidates MORE (R) predicted Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Trump cites tax cuts over judges as having biggest impact of his presidency Ocasio-Cortez claps back at Trump after he cites her in tweet rejecting impeachment MORE would likely run unopposed in the 2020 Republican Party primary before going on to win the general election.

Rubio, during an interview with CNN on Capitol Hill, responded to speculation about a 2020 bid from U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyFederal watchdog recommends Conway be removed from role for Hatch Act violations Federal watchdog recommends Conway be removed from role for Hatch Act violations Pavlich: Debunking common smear against pro-life movement MORE, who announced Tuesday that she would resign her office by the end of the year.

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"If Nikki Haley was running in 2020, she would say she's running in 2020," said Rubio, who mounted an unsuccessful GOP presidential bid in 2016. "She wouldn't ... and she's not going to [run against Trump]. Nobody's going to. I can't say nobody, somebody might, but the president's going to be the nominee for the Republican Party."

"And if people want to spend airtime on that, they can talk about it. He'll be the nominee for the Republican Party, and the Democrats will nominate somebody, and I think the president will win," he added.

His comments echoed those of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown GOP nervous that border wall fight could prompt year-end shutdown Jon Stewart slams McConnell over 9/11 victim fund MORE (R-Ky.), who said during an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday that a GOP challenge against Trump in 2020 would be a "waste of time."

"[It] would be a waste of time, frankly. But the people who would be likely to challenge the president would not be coming to me for advice," McConnell said.

Serious primary challenges against sitting presidents are rare, but Trump could potentially face challenges from a number of top Republicans, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) who has left the door open to mounting a presidential bid.

Haley denied that she would be a candidate for office in 2020 in her resignation letter, made public Tuesday, and made similar comments to reporters at the White House.

"I will say this, for all of you that are going to ask about 2020, no, I am not running for 2020," Haley said Tuesday. "I can promise you what I'll be doing is campaigning for [Trump]."