U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has largely expressed faith in America’s electoral system, but recent comments he’s made — and declined to make — indicate he might be thinking of adopting rhetoric similar to that of former President Donald Trump if things go poorly for Republicans this fall.

Rubio, Florida’s senior U.S. Senator, is facing his stiffest test in years in Democratic U.S. Rep. Val Demings. Polling shows the two candidates are in a veritable tie.

When asked Sunday by the Washington Post if he’d accept the outcome of the Nov. 8 election, Rubio joined 11 other GOP candidates — including Gov. Ron DeSantis — declining to answer the question.

Nearly two years after the 2020 election, there has been no evidence to support claims of widespread voter fraud.

Rubio has generally supported and voiced confidence in United States elections. But he’s periodically flirted with adopting a more outlying approach. Shortly after the 2020 presidential race was called for Joe Biden, Rubio said on Twitter, “Taking days to count legally cast votes is NOT fraud (and) court challenges to votes cast after the legal voting deadline is not suppression.”

As pressure mounted, however, he echoed rhetoric from the Trump campaign undermining voter confidence, telling Fox News that “half this country” doubted the veracity of the election.

Rubio nonetheless was one of just a few Republicans from Florida to certify the results on Jan. 6. But then a month later, he bashed a congressional hearing into the riot at the U.S. Capitol that disrupted its certification as a “complete partisan scam.”

More recently, he’s argued it’s the “Marxist misfits” and “laptop liberals” on the Left who “cannot tolerate dissent” from the Right. In a keynote speech last week at the National Conservatism Convention in Aventura, he said Democrats, not Republicans, are the ones who have  trouble accepting unfavorable election results.

“They have to control government,” he said. “Which means that, ‘Yes, we’re for elections as long as we win. If we lose, we lost because you suppressed the vote, because the laws of some states didn’t allow people to vote and if they had voted, the outcome would be different.’

“That’s what we’re looking through right now. And some people say, ‘Oh, you’re just paranoid because you’ve been raised your whole life around people who lost their country to Marxism.’ Yeah, maybe. But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

According to Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Grant Fox, Rubio will buckle under pressure from his party to side with election deniers this fall.

“Floridians deserve to know that their leaders will respect their votes, not try to overturn them or cast doubt on elections if they don’t get what they want,” Fox said in a statement.

“Marco Rubio doesn’t have the courage to stand up to the extremists in his party and defend the basic foundations of our democracy. Selfishly undermining the legitimacy of our elections so he can score points with his party bosses is not only a shameful new low for Rubio, it’s dangerous.”

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