Senator Bob Singer (R-30) said Monday that after the abrupt endings to Governor Chris Christie’s and Jeb Bush’s presidential campaigns, he and his fellow former Christie supporters are leaning toward Marco Rubio, the governor’s former nemesis in New Hampshire — not to Trump. At least not yet.
Singer cited Rubio’s potential to make a significant dent in Democrats’ historic advantage among latino voters, and said he doesn’t believe Rubio’s beating from Christie during the New Hampshire debates will preclude an endorsement.
“The question is, do the Bush people and the other people start moving toward Rubio? I happen to like Rubio, and would really, since our governor has left the race, have no problem supporting him,” singer said, adding that most of his colleagues are looking to Rubio rather than Trump as the new favorite.
Christie requested last week that state chairmen keep their official endorsements on ice until he decides on a candidate.
“I’m more frightened by Cruz, personally,” Singer said of Donald Trump, who has held onto his frontrunner status despite many predictions that strong poll numbers would fail to produce strong returns. “We’re looking for the candidate that can win in November. I think that the Democratic party is most afraid of the Rubio type. What are they going to say to latinos, that he doesn’t support latinos? What are they going to say to minorities, that he’s not a minority? It becomes a different challenge.”
“To win the general election, going too far to the right doesn’t help,” he added of Cruz.
Though he believes Rubio has the best chances of any non-Trump candidate, Singer praised Trump’s provocative personality and anti-establishment message for its ability to draw out new Republican voters. Republican turnout has broken records in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina as Democrats fail to reproduce the numbers they saw in 2008.
“Trump has made this a phenomenally involved race. We’re getting new voters. If you look at the Republican side, the amount of turnout is record-setting. If you look at the Democratic side, it’s ‘blah.’ Think about how embarassing it is that of the two people running, one is a socialist who’s 74 years old and the other one thinks that she’s been appointed and found out that the 45 and younger don’t even know who she is.
“He has brought attention to the campaign, he has brought in people who have never been involved before. How wonderful is that?” Singer asked. “If the choices are him and Hillary, I still think that the mainstream and hardened Republican still goes for Trump. You can’t want more of the same.”