- The Washington Times - Friday, March 11, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio on Friday said voters looking to stop GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump might very well support Ohio Gov. John Kasich in Mr. Kasich’s home state on Tuesday, as Mr. Rubio reiterated his push for anti-Trump voters in Florida to coalesce around his own campaign.

“If a voter in Ohio is motivated by stopping Donald Trump and comes to the conclusion that John Kasich is the only one who can beat him there, then I expect that’s the decision they’ll make,” Mr. Rubio told reporters in Florida.

“I can tell you that in Florida, I’m the only one that can beat Donald Trump, and whether someone supports Ted Cruz or John Kasich, if you vote for them in Florida, you’re in essence voting for Donald Trump,” he said. “If a voter reaches the same conclusion in Ohio, then I think that’s what they’re going to do as well.”

He said he hasn’t talked to Mr. Kasich about it, but acknowledged the governor has a better chance of winning Ohio than he does.

Mr. Rubio also ruled out the possibility of joining forces with Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who is in a clear second place behind Mr. Trump in the delegate count.



“This is stuff from like ‘House of Cards’ — that’s not real life,” Mr. Rubio said. “I’m running for president of the United States; Ted Cruz is running for president of the United States. Everyone’s still trying to get a majority of the delegates. I don’t think Donald Trump will have the majority of the delegates, unless he wins Florida and Ohio. And even there he would struggle to get there.”

“There are rules in place in the Republican party to handle that, if and when it happens,” he said. “But I have not discussed that with anybody. I’m focused on one thing right now, and that is winning the state of Florida and then moving on in my campaign to pick up more delegates in other places.”

The Florida senator had originally been asked about comments made earlier Friday by Alex Conant, the Rubio campaign’s communications director, that Mr. Kasich is likely the only candidate other than Mr. Trump who can win Ohio on Tuesday.

“My answer is John Kasich is the one candidate in Ohio that can beat Donald Trump — that’s stating the obvious,” Mr. Conant said on CNN. “So if you’re a Republican primary voter in Ohio and you don’t want Donald Trump to be the nominee, John Kasich is your best bet. If you’re a Republican primary voter here in Florida and you don’t want Donald Trump to be your nominee, Marco Rubio is your best bet. That is indisputable. Everybody would say that.”

Some Republicans bent on stopping Mr. Trump have encouraged voters in Florida to rally around Mr. Rubio and voters in Ohio to support Mr. Kasich in an effort to slow Mr. Trump’s path to the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination.

Polling has shown Mr. Trump with an advantage over Mr. Rubio in Florida and running competitively against Mr. Kasich in Ohio; both are winner-take-all states.

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