Trump VP hopeful Marco Rubio refuses to commit to accepting 2024 election results

Republican Senator Marco Rubio dodged questions about whether he would accept the results of the 2024 presidential election and left open the possibility of the outcome being mired in fraud in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press on Sunday.

The Florida senator once derided by Donald Trump as “little Marco” is now among a handful of prominent Republicans thought to be on the former president’s shortlist to join him as a running mate in November.

Mr Rubio, one of Mr Trump’s more vocal defenders in the Senate, has previously said that he would be “honored” to accept the position.

On Sunday, he was peppered with questions by NBC’s Kristen Welker as to whether his loyality to the former president means he will question the validity of the election results if President Joe Biden remains in the White House.

“Will you accept the election results of 2024 no matter what happens?” Ms Welker asked Mr Rubio.

“No matter what happens? No, if it's an unfair election,” replied the senator.

Ms Welker continued to press him.

“Senator, no matter who wins,” she asked, inferring that the results are presumed to be fair in her hypothetical.

Marco Rubio appears on Meet the Press on Sunday 19 May (NBC)
Marco Rubio appears on Meet the Press on Sunday 19 May (NBC)

Mr Rubio refused to say that he would.

“I think you're asking the wrong person,” he said. “The Democrats are the ones who have opposed every Republican victory since 2000.”

The refrain is a common one among Republicans who have sought to draw parallels between the odd disgruntled Democrat making remarks questioning the integrity of various races and the wide-ranging effort by the Trump campaign in 2020 to actually overturn the election results.

Mr Trump and his campaign engaged in a months-long effort to spread false conspiracies about the election results in the fall and winter of 2020 and sought to overturn the president’s defeat in several key battleground states.

Some of those efforts by Mr Trump and his allies have led to criminal charges.

Mr Trump himself faces four criminal cases, two of them – one in Georgia and one federal – linked to those efforts to halt the peaceful transfer of power in 2020.

On January 6 2021 – the day of the Capitol riot – Mr Rubio voted to certify the results of the 2020 election and pushed back on some of the outlandish claims of fraud made by the president’s campaign.

But later, Mr Rubio backtracked, deriding the effort to investigate the attack as a “partisan scam” and defending the majority of the GOP’s voting base “that has doubts about the veracity of this election”.

Now, he appears to be fancying his chances as Mr Trump’s running mate, on a rumoured shortlist that includes the likes of Vivek Ramaswamy, Tim Scott, Doug Burgum and Elise Stefanik.

“I think anybody who would be offered that should be honored,” he told Fox News in March about the possibility of joining Mr Trump on the ballot.

“Anybody who would be offered the chance to serve their country as vice president should consider that an honor.”

Mr Rubio ran against Mr Trump for the Republican nomination in 2016, sparking a bitter feud between the two men which ended after the Florida senator bowed out of the race and metaphorically bent the knee to his onetime rival.

He spent four years of the Trump administration in the Senate where he served as a quiet ally of the White House who only rarely raised his voice in criticism.