May. 26, 2016 6:15pm Oliver Darcy
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in an interview Thursday that he will attend the Republican convention and, if asked, speak on the behalf of presumptive nominee Donald Trump.
“My sense is that I will go to the convention,” Rubio told CNN host Jake Tapper, in an interview set to air in full on Sunday. “I don’t know if I will have a role in the convention.”
Asked if he would deliver a speech on behalf of the billionaire, Rubio said: “I’d certainly. Yeah. I want to be helpful. I don’t want to be harmful because I don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president.”
Rubio’s comments represent a sharp change in rhetoric from when he was on the campaign trail.
When the Florida senator was running against Trump for the nomination, he said he would “get in my pickup truck and drive around the country” if it’s what it would take to stop the real estate mogul from being elected president.
At one rally, he suggested Trump was a “lunatic” who could not be trusted with nuclear weapons. At others, he called him a “con man” who had tricked conservatives into thinking he was one of them.
Rubio is only one of the many Republicans who have warmed to Trump in recent weeks. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who supported Rubio for president, said he will back Trump earlier this month. Others, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), have also expressed support for the presumptive nominee.