Jonathan Kyle (ABC News) is reporting that Marco Rubio “has begun taking concrete steps toward launching a presidential bid, asking his top advisors to prepare for a campaign, signing on a leading Republican fundraiser, and planning extensive travel to early-voting states in the coming weeks”
According to the report Rubio has told his staff to “proceed as if he is running.”
Leading the effort to raise the $50 million or more he’ll need to run in the Republican primaries will be Anna Rogers, currently the finance director for American Crossroads, the conservative group started by Karl Rove that raised more than $200 million to help elect Republicans over the past two elections.
Rubio, 43, will gather on Friday and Saturday at the Delano Hotel in Miami with 300 supporters and major donors to his Reclaim America PAC to discuss his political future.
Aides expect Rubio will make a final decision in the comings weeks, but his schedule for the next month already looks more like the schedule of a presidential candidate than a senator.
ABC News has learned Rubio plans to skip all votes in the Senate next week and instead take a campaign fundraising swing through California with events in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Rancho Sante Fe and Costa Mesa. He also plans fundraising stops in Texas and Chicago.
Rubio has also scheduled a book tour that will take him to all the early primary states. A senior aide to the Florida senator tells ABC News Rubio’s book tour will include stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and Nevada. The first stop is tentatively scheduled for February 13 in Des Moines.
Rubio has had a meteoric rise in national politics. He was Speaker of the
Florida Assembly and still in his thirties when he ran for Florida’s U.S. Senate. At the time leadership of the State GOP had already decide that Governor Charlie Crist was their favorite. Rubio came from way back to defeat Crist in the state’s GOP primary.
Per Florida law if he runs for POTUS, Rubio cannot also run to be reselected to his senate seat a decision he told Hugh Hewitt which with he would be very comfortable:
You know, I think by and large, when you choose to do something as big as that, you’ve really got to be focused on that and not have an exit strategy.
At a breakfast briefing earlier this week Rubio indicated that should he run, foreign policy and national security would be his priority:
“The next president of the United States needs to be someone who has a clear view of what is happening in the world — a clear strategic vision of America’s role in it, and a clear tactical plan of how to engage America in global affairs,” Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told a room full of reporters at the St. Regis Hotel in downtown Washington. “And I think for governors, that’s going to be a challenge — at least initially — because they don’t deal with foreign policy on a daily basis.”
Rubio, who has supported an aggressive U.S. role in the world, added: “I think that the predominant obligation for the federal government is to provide for our national security and to conduct foreign policy for the United States. And I feel very comfortable debating that with any of the potential candidates or anyone else who might want to be president.”
Rubio’s involvement with the gang of eight immigration bill may end up hurting him in any primary campaign. He helped to craft the bill which upset those who were, then pulled his support. His initial support upset Republicans who were against amnesty and those who wanted the us border secured. After he withdrew his support because of its feckless border security provisions he upset those who wanted a comprehensive bill at all costs.