Sen. Marco Rubio spoke to a crowd of more than a 1,000 people Monday at a Tampa Convention Center rally.
Florida’s primary is March 15, and the senator said his biggest endorsement would come from voters.
“The Republican nomination always goes through Florida. It did for John McCain. It did for Mitt Romney and it will for me and everyone else in this field,” Rubio said.
Rubio is focused on taking Florida’s 99 delegates. He believes he has momentum after winning 23 delegates in Puerto Rico. He also believes he is the candidate that can unite the Republican Party and beat the Democratic nominee.
“Right now no one is on pace to get 1,237 delegates. We’ll see what happen[s] over the next few weeks, but the biggest single prize is Florida – always is, and I need everyone’s help,” Rubio said.
Rubio calls himself an underdog who is not backing down from Donald Trump. Trump has called for Rubio to drop out of the race.
“If you want to stop Donald Trump, I’m the only one that has a chance to beat him in Florida,” Rubio said.
Rubio said he wants people to focus on the issues and not on what Trump is saying because he feels more of that is being covered than anything else.
“The media has to ask themselves that question, you know. When Donald Trump says a bad word, when he uses profanity or he says something vulgar, he gets an incredible amount of coverage. When I give a policy speech [it] might get mentioned for 10 seconds or not at all, so I think there’s a problem here. We’ve turned these campaigns into reality politics and what’s at stake here is the presidency of the United States,” Rubio said.
Rubio will host a rally Tuesday in Sarasota.