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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 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) predicted Wednesday that President 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 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) HaleyTrump mulling State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert for UN envoy: report Iran says it killed 'mastermind' behind military parade attack Haley slams China over 'internment of civilians' in first public remarks since announcing resignation 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 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.), 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]."