- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio may have dropped out of the Republican presidential race, but he’s ensuring he has an outsized role at the party’s convention in July.

Mr. Rubio has reached out to party leaders in 21 states and territories asking them not to release the 172 delegates he won during his presidential bid, in an aim to deny front-runner Donald Trump the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination outright.

The move will also allow Mr. Rubio to cut a potential deal with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on the convention floor. Mr. Rubio may be willing to release his delegates to Mr. Cruz in July, if he himself can gain a vice president role.

Mr. Rubio’s move to keep his delegates bound is an unprecedented one — and shows you just how far the party is willing to go to deny Mr. Trump the nomination. Indeed, Mr. Rubio’s aide, Alex Burgos, told MSNBC on Wednesday that although Mr. Rubio isn’t a candidate, he “wants to give voters a chance to stop Trump.”

Before dropping out of the race, Mr. Rubio dismissed the idea of ever uniting with Mr. Cruz to deny Mr. Trump the nomination.

“This is stuff from like ‘House of Cards,’ ” Mr. Rubio explained. “It’s not real life.”

Not real life, indeed.

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