- The Washington Times - Monday, June 20, 2016

The Carlos Beruff for Senate campaign questioned Monday whether Sen. Marco Rubio should be trusted to serve out a full six-year Senate term if he chooses to run for re-election, and not use the seat as a springboard for another presidential run.

Chris Hartline, a Beruff spokesman, called on Mr. Rubio to pledge to serve an entire term, pass on a presidential run in 2020 and show up for Senate votes after being missing in action during much of the 2016 GOP presidential race.

“If Rubio runs and refuses to make this pledge, the voters of Florida have a simple choice: Do you want Carlos Beruff, who will bring his real-world experience to the problems facing our country, or do you want Marco Rubio, a career politician who will simply use the Senate as a launching pad for his future political ambitions?” Mr. Hartline said.

“And if Rubio does make this pledge — what difference does it make? He has already shown that his word is meaningless by breaking his pledge to not run for re-election,” he said.

Indeed, Mr. Rubio said that he would not seek re-election to the Senate in order to focus on his presidential bid, which ended in March following a devastating loss to Donald Trump in his home state of Florida.

Last week, though, Mr. Rubio changed his tune, saying he is reconsidering his plans following the shooting at an Orlando nightclub that left 49 people dead, which has sparked debates on Capitol Hill about on guns and home-grown terrorism.

SEE ALSO: Marco Rubio Senate re-election campaign would require several about-faces

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez Canteras has urged Mr. Rubio to defend the seat and said he will exit the race if his friend jumps in.

Rep. David Jolly of Florida announced Friday that he is forgoing a Senate bid in order to seek re-election to the House, anticipating Mr. Rubio will file for re-election before the June 24 deadline.

Rep. Ron DeSantis also has signaled he would forgo a bid if Mr. Rubio runs. Mr. Beruff, meanwhile, plans on staying in the race, as does Todd Wilcox, a former CIA officer.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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