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 RubioMeet Maduro, Venezuela's copycat dictator Politifact names conspiracies about Parkland students as 2018's 'lie of the year' Republicans skeptical of Trump’s plan to have military build the wall MORE (R) predicted Wednesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' 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) HaleyHaley: I used Trump’s ‘unpredictable’ behavior to my advantage at UN Haley: Russia making it ‘impossible’ to have relationship with US Haley: ‘We need to have a serious, hard talk with the Saudis’ 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-controlled Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi vote Overnight Defense: Senate moves toward vote on bill ending support for Saudi war | House GOP blocks Yemen war votes for rest of year | Trump throws uncertainty into Pentagon budget | Key Dem to leave transgender troop ban to courts Senate moves toward vote on ending support for Saudi-led war 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]."