Rubio explains the timing of his Romney endorsement

Florida Senator Marco Rubio formally endorsed Mitt Romney for Republican presidential candidate. (Photo/Getty Images).

Why did Republican Senator Marco Rubio endorse Mitt Romney at this point in the campaign season? That was the question posed to the up-and-coming Cuban-American senator after yesterday’s endorsement of the former Massachusetts governor.

Senator Rubio said that while Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich “have a lot to be proud of…they admitted the primary was over…and the only way they could win is by having a floor fight in August,” during the Republican convention.  Rubio added that all a “floor fight” between Republican candidates does is diminish the Republicans’ chances of winning against Barack Obama in November.

Rubio also said his endorsement may make some people “unhappy,” but says he has not heard many complaints.

Did Rubio do the right thing endorsing Romney at this stage in the primaries? Danny Vargas, former chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and a political strategist, says Rubio’s decision was “spot-on and the timing is right.”

“We only have six months to go,” says Vargas, “and we have a lot of minds to change and a lot of coalescing to do if we want to win in the toss-up states, as well as win Latino, women and young voters.”

Vargas agreed with Rubio that if Gingrich and Santorum could not win enough delegates, now is the time to stand behind Romney.  Vargas said “it’s got to be all hands on deck starting now.”

Senator Rubio said while a contested convention would have been very exciting for political junkies “and for the Obama campaign to witness,” it would have been “catastrophic for Republicans…You cannot have an open fist fight like that at the convention…and beat the best-funded presidential candidate in American history.”

Rubio was asked a question he frequently gets: would Romney bolster his conservative credentials by choosing Rubio as his vice-presidential candidate?

“I think he doesn’t need any bolstering,” Rubio says. Romney was elected governor as a Republican, Rubio says, “and governed in a way I think he should be proud of.”

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