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Rubio: I’d vote against Sotomayor

Posted Jul 16, 2009 by William March

Updated Jul 16, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Marco Rubio said this morning that if he had to decide today, he’d vote against confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court.

Rubio also scoffed at the latest round of rumors that he’s considering dropping out of the U.S. Senate race and entering the race for state attorney general, and said his lackluster fundraising at the outset of his race will improve.

Because he’s the son of a Cuban immigrant family, attention has been paid to Rubio’s position on Sotomayor, who would be the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

“If I had to vote today, I’d vote against confirmation,” he said this morning. Rubio said he wasn’t satisfied with Sotomayor’s answer to questions on gun rights and self-defense, or on the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, which he said was “a prime example of activist judiciary.”

“The hearings are still going on, but something would have to change” for him to vote for confirmation, he said.

Gov. Charlie Crist, Rubio’s opponent and the front-runner in the Senate GOP primary, hasn’t taken a public stance on Sotomayor but said he might take one by today.

Rubio is far behind Crist in the polls and fundraising, which has led to speculation that Rubio would leave the race and run for attorney general - a ballot spot where Republicans don’t have a big-name candidate.

But Rubio has said he expected from the start that he’d have to be a giant-killer in the primary and vehemently denies the persistent rumors of a switch. The most recent round came from a Washington-based political newsletter that cited unnamed sources saying Rubio was calling top Republicans to discuss switching.

“It’s not true,” Rubio said. “It’s unfair – I’m responding to two unidentified sources.”

Rubio said there are “some well-intentioned people out there who think it would be of benefit to the party” if he ran for AG, but “I’m as committed to the Senate race as I’ve ever been - I’m not switching races.”

Rubio said his campaign’s fundraising will improve. “Each quarter we have to show improvement – that’s been our plan all along. We expected we’d struggle early on.”