Hillary Clinton’s campaign was concerned that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) could have been a formidable general election contender, according to WikiLeaks.
WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton’s campaign was concerned about the possibility that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) could have become the 2016 Republican presidential nominee, according to an email recently published by WikiLeaks.
The February 23, 2015 email exchange depicts Clinton pollster Joel Benenson alerting several high-ranking campaign staffers that Rubio’s perceived appeal to both moderate and conservative voters-as well as many Hispanics; could potentially represent a serious threat to Hillary Clinton’s general election prospects.
“I’m beginning to worry more about Rubio than the others,” Benenson wrote. “He’s playing this very smart-only one who didn’t duck like a chicken shit on the Q of whether POTUS loves America. He has stronger right wing cred than Jeb and he’s finding a way to the middle enough for now and he will be the most exciting choice to Republicans. Could pose a real threat with Latinos etc.”
Campaign communications adviser Mandy Grunwald was the only recipient to respond to Benenson’s email. Grunwald acknowledged that Rubio could potentially represent a threat to Clinton should he win the GOP nomination.
“He’s very inspiring at his best,” Grunwald said. “Feels kind of like a light weight in a lot of interviews-but I take your point.”
A March 13, 2016 email published by WikiLeaks suggests the Clinton campaign preferred that now-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would ultimately turn out to be Hillary Clinton’s general election opponent, as he would likely be the easiest to defeat.
“Right now I am petrified that Hillary is almost totally dependent on Republicans nominating Trump….she has huge endemic political weaknesses that she would be wise to rectify…..even a clown like Ted Cruz would be an even money bet to beat and this scares the hell of out me,” adviser Brent Budowsky wrote to campaign chair John Podesta.
Rubio was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2010 and most polls suggest he will likely win re-election in November.
The Florida senator previously said that he would not seek re-election but changed his mind after having supposedly been prodded by party leaders.
Rubio was widely considered to be a formidable contender during the 2016 Republican presidential primary contest but dropped out in mid-March after losing his home state to Donald Trump.