Marco Rubio refuses to give up on Florida

Dozens show up to support Rubio in Hialeah


HIALEAH, Fla. – Sen. Marco Rubio was not giving up on his presidential dreams and was looking forward to Thursday's debate at the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

On Wednesday, he and his wife Jeanette Rubio, were at the pre-debate rally at Milander Park in Hialeah, the city with the largest population of Cubans and Cuban-Americans in the country. But despite that, the football field and bleachers were nearly empty. 

"I will campaign for as long and as hard as it takes," Rubio said. He also warned his supporters to beware of "dirty tricks."

Ahead of Tuesday's Florida primary, Rubio said he was skeptical about the polls that were casting Donald Trump as the Republican winner of the sunshine state. During an interview he did on stage with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, he contradicted a CNN report when he said that he had not "discussed dropping out with anyone."

Florida's winner-take-all 99 delegate votes could have moved him closer to Sen. Ted Cruz, who trails Trump. But even that wouldn't have made a difference, as the billionaire's advantage was well outside the margin of error.

This was a surprise to the Jeb Bush supporters, who were looking forward to voting for him. 

Rubio's support isn't strong. Only about 1,000 showed up to the Dolphin Aviation in Sarasota Tuesday, the night that he lost Mississippi, Michigan and Hawaii to Trump and Idaho to Cruz. 

The influence of the $10 million wave of anti-Trump ads airing in Florida this week had yet to be felt. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll placed Rubio last on Tuesday and The Fox News poll placed Rubio behind Trump and ahead of Cruz. 

During his campaign, Rubio said he has had regrets. At an MSNBC town hall held at Florida International University, where he teaches, he wishes he wouldn't have insulted Trump as an orange-faced, wimpy, small-handed man.

"My kids were embarrassed by it and I, you know, if I had to do it again, I wouldn't," Rubio said. 

Republicans Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul bowed out of the race. Fiorina was supporting Cruz. Christie was supporting Trump and Bush was expected to announce his pick before the Florida primary. 

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