U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio declined to weigh in on the troubles of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another potential Republican presidential hopeful in 2016.
“I think it would be a mistake for me and others like me to comment on this,” the Florida Senator told CBS’s Face the Nation.
“First of all, we don’t know all the facts. I think this is a story that’s still developing, and we should reserve judgment,” Rubio added.
Rubio joins other prospective 2016 candidates in opting out of commenting on Christie as he deals with the fallout from apparently politically motivated September lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.
Jeremy Herb, writing in The Hill, notes the abundance of speculation on the damage the scandal could have for Christie’s 2016 prospects. The governor repeatedly denied knowledge of the lane closures, firing a top adviser this week who was involved in the bridge closure.
Rubio said he would decide on running for president sometime early next year.
“Interestingly enough, in 2016, I’m up for reelection if I want to choose to stay in the Senate,” Rubio told Face the Nation, “so I’ll have to make a decision around this time next year about whether I’m interested in running for another office, or running for reelection or becoming a private citizen.”
While Christie was grappling with the bridge scandal, Rubio issues a speech on the 50th anniversary of former President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 State of the Union speech launching the “War on Poverty.”
Rubio called the war on poverty a failure, promising to outline programs for the states to tackle poverty as opposed to the federal government.
“I think programs like Head Start are geared in the right direction in the sense that they’re trying to get children educational opportunities as young as possible,” Rubio said. “I think where those programs could be completed, and improved is if we create flexibility in them at the local level.”
“I’m not saying we should dismantle the efforts. I’m saying that these efforts need to be reformed, and I believe the best way to reform them is to turn the money and the influence over to the state and local level,” he continued, “where I think you’ll find the kinds of innovations that allow us to confront an issue that’s complex and, quite frankly, diverse.”