Trump predicted Rubio would drop out after Florida.
Rubio is tired of loosing to Trump in the Primary.
Forida Sen. Marco Rubio suspended his campaign for president on Tuesday after losing his home state’s winner-take-all Republican primary to Donald Trump.
But Trump lost the Ohio primary to the state’s governor, John Kasich, a big setback for the New York billionaire.
The mixed results still left Trump the best positioned candidate to capture the Republican presidential nomination, though his loss in Ohio casts some doubt on whether he can win the 1,237 delegates he needs to lock up the nomination before the party’s national convention in July.
In Miami, Rubio congratulated Trump, but also lamented what he called the “politics of resentment” stirred up by the party’s front-runner, saying the nation was becoming a fractured place where “people literally hate each other.”
“Do not give in to the fear,” Rubio said. “Do not give in to the frustration.”
The Florida results were the first of a crucial evening in the Republican race. Voters in five states Tuesday will either make Trump the party’s all-but-certain nominee or throw up hurdles that will extend the contest for weeks and boost efforts to keep the polarizing front-runner from atop the GOP ticket.
Balloting was brisk in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, reflecting the excitement that has animated the Republican race in contests across the country.
More than 350 delegates were at stake, or about a third the number needed to clinch the GOP nomination ahead of the party’s national convention this summer in Cleveland. The cache made it the second-biggest day of balloting on the 2016 primary calendar.
Before the first polls even closed, Trump notched a victory with a landslide in the Northern Mariana Islands. He won all nine delegates from the U.S. territory.
But as important as the delegate count was, the day’s significance turned more on the fates of Rubio and Kasich. Both were facing win-or-get-out contests in their home states, the first of this primary season to award delegates on a winner-take-all basis. Trump picked up 99 delegates in Florida, and Kasich won 66 in Ohio, the first state he has won.
If Trump had managed to carry both, he could have been unstoppable.
The real estate magnate and reality TV star started the day with 460 delegates, nearly 100 more than Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and more than twice as many as Rubio and Kasich combined.
The balloting followed one of the oddest, most contentious weeks in a campaign that has been filled with strange and surreal moments.
The precipitating event was a racially charged near-riot at a Trump rally Friday night in Chicago, which was canceled out of security concerns.
Trump’s opponents quickly seized on the moment and the violent imagery that played around the world to once more challenge his temperament and fitness to be president. They accused him of fomenting the unrest through belligerent remarks that seemed to egg his audiences into physically confronting dissenters.
Kasich and Rubio both suggested they were having second thoughts about their promise to back Trump should he be the GOP nominee. Cruz, while criticizing Trump, would not go that far.
Trump denied any responsibility, blaming the violence on what he called professional agitators linked to Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders. He said the protesters provoked his supporters and were stifling their rights to free speech and assembly. “I don’t condone violence,” Trump said repeatedly, though he sympathized with backers who chose to “be effective” with protesters in the audience. (Previously he used more pugilistic language.)
For weeks, increasingly desperate Republican opponents have mounted an effort to stop Trump, to little seeming effect. More than $10 million in negative ads blazed across the Florida airwaves in just the last week alone, attacking Trump for his ethics, the failings of his business empire and his all-over-the-map political ideology.
Those meant nothing to Mark Owens, who stepped into the Miami Beach sunshine Tuesday and lit a cigar after casting a ballot for the political neophyte.
“I just think he’s better prepared to help America economically,” said Owens, who owns several companies. Echoing the candidate, he suggested Trump would be a better “deal-maker” than previous presidents, whether it comes to trade or foreign relations.
“We’ve trusted politicians for 200 years to run our country,” Owens said. “It’s time to give someone else a shot.”
With polls suggesting Florida was firmly in Trump’s grasp, much of the campaign focus turned to Ohio, a perennial fall battleground that was positioned to play a key role in the Republican nominating contest as well.
Trump laid on extra events, including an election-eve rally outside Youngstown in place of a planned Florida appearance, and turned his attention to attacking Kasich after long ignoring the Ohio governor.
He assailed him for his support as a congressman for the North American Free Trade Agreement, a pact with Canada and Mexico that, Trump said, devastated the state’s economy. He also laid on personal insults in a bid to snatch a victory in Kasich’s home state and clear the governor from the race.