Eyeing 2016, Marco Rubio Gets Active in South Carolina
Around the State
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, is getting increasingly active in South Carolina which traditionally holds the first presidential primary in the South.
Held after Iowa and New Hampshire have their say, South Carolina has been the decisive tie-breaker in many recent Republican presidential primary contests. Set up by legendary political operative Lee Atwater to help George H.W. Bush beat Bob Dole for the GOP’s presidential nomination, the eventual Republican presidential nominee won the South Carolina primary in 1988, 1996, 2000 and 2008 after Iowa and New Hampshire broke for different candidates. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., ended the streak in 2008 when he defeated former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., in the Palmetto State.
Rubio will be in Anderson, S.C., on Monday as the keynote speaker for U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan’s, R-S.C., “Faith and Freedom BBQ” fundraiser.
“I’m honored to have a solid conservative like Sen. Rubio come to South Carolina to headline this event,” said Duncan when he announced the event back in July. “Sen. Rubio shares South Carolina’s values of limited government and individual liberty, and I’m looking forward to having him visit our state.”
Rubio is not the only possible Republican presidential candidate working South Carolina. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., keynoted Duncan’s event last year.
Across the nation, as November looms on the horizon, Rubio is growing increasingly active in helping Republican candidates. While his Reclaim America PAC has generally kept its focus on supporting Republicans running for the U.S. Senate, including backing GOP hopeful Joni Ernst who is running for an open Senate seat in Iowa, Rubio is increasingly helping out GOP members of the U.S. House. Last week, he headed up to Illinois to help U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s, R-Ill., re-election efforts.
Rubio is also continuing his efforts for U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Cory Gardiner, R-Colo., who are running against incumbent Democratic senators as the GOP looks to win control of the Senate in November.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter; @KevinDerbySSN