By Meleasie Goviro – EM TV News, Port Moresby
Marco Rubio suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday night after failing to translate support from the party’s establishment into victories in primary states.
Supporters of Marco Rubio were heartbroken after the Florida senator bowed out of the U.S. presidential race.
Rubio’s departure leaves three candidates in the race – Trump, Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
The decision also came after poor performances last week in nominating contests in Michigan and Mississippi where he attracted only single-digit’support in the polls.
Rubio however thanked supporters in his home state of Florida for their tireless support after his loss there to rival Donald Trump.
“We have a great team and I’m so grateful for all the help that you guys have given us. I just want you to know there’s nothing more you could have done. You worked as hard as anyone worked, we worked as hard as we ever could, well America is in the middle of a real political storm, a real tsunami and we should have seen this coming.”
The 44 year-old first-term senator had been considered by many mainstream Republicans to be the last best option to defeat Donald Trump and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas for the party’s nomination for the November 8 election.
Some expected him to finish second to Trump in the New Hampshire primary on February 9. But after a battering in a Republican debate by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie he wound up fourth in the state.
Allies and supporters had encouraged Rubio to get out of the race before the Florida voting, arguing that losing to Trump in his own state would hamper his future in politics.
“Unfortunately he had a tough time in the race, and, you know, it’s sad to see him drop out. He did what was probably the right thing given the poll results,” said Michael Marston, one of Rubio’s die hard supporters.
With only three candidates in the race, Ohio Governor John Kasich is now considered the most likely candidate to be supported by mainstream Republicans.
Rubio has already said he will not run for re-election to his Senate seat but there has been speculation he could run for governor in 2018.