Marco Rubio Implies He's Leaving Politics—at Least for Now

Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio passes by reporters after voting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 17. He said he won't seek to be vice president, senator or governor, at least in the near future. Gary Cameron/Reuters

Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Thursday said he won't continue in politics once his Senate term ends next year.

The Florida senator told reporters—with a smile—that he will become a private citizen in January and made it clear he won't seek re-election.

"I'm not going to be vice president. I'm not running for governor of Florida. I'm going to finish out my term in the Senate over the next 10 months...and then I'll be a private citizen in January," he told reporters.

His comments came as he arrived on Capitol Hill for the first time since he ended his campaign on Tuesday night. He announced he was suspending his campaign almost immediately after the official results showed he lost his state's primary to GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

When asked whether he foresees another run for office in the future, Rubio reiterated that he won't seek Senate re-election nor campaign to be governor of Florida. "Guys, I just got here," he said about his return to Washington, D.C.

A reporter questioned whether he will endorse Texas Senator Ted Cruz for the Republican nomination, but Rubio said he didn't have an announcement yet. He also declined to elaborate on comments he made Wednesday to Minnesota supporters that Cruz is the only remaining conservative in the race.

"Clearly, Ted's positions on issues are conservative," he said. "Hopefully, there's time to still prevent a Trump nomination, which I think would fracture the party and be damaging to the conservative movement."

Rubio also said he isn't willing to hold hearings on Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's pick to fill Antonin Scalia's vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Despite a win in his home state of Ohio on Tuesday—his only victory so far in the primary season—Governor John Kasich mostly remains in the shadows of Cruz and Trump, who are neck and neck in the GOP race. The next Republican contests are this weekend and include Arizona and Utah.