Since the Nov. 6 midterm elections, Rubio has stood on the front lines of the partisan war here in Florida over his state’s recount, storming social media with criticism of Democrats and seizing on incomplete information to raise doubts about the intentions of elections officials. He also penned a Wall Street Journal op-ed declaring that “Trump Is Right About Nationalism,” embracing a term fraught with racial and historical baggage, though he argued it is not about ethnicity.
“I do think he’s evolving,” said Brian Ballard, a Rubio associate and Republican donor in Florida. “I have noticed his tweets are much more in-your-face.”
His latest transformation has revived criticism among some Republicans that Rubio is a politician without a core — a shape-shifter who has bounced from tea party insurgent to sunny moderate to Trump acolyte with little compunction.
“Rubio is a survivor who constantly reassesses the political environment,” said Dan Eberhart, a donor to Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who sealed his victory in the Senate race Sunday when Sen. Bill Nelson (D) conceded defeat at the conclusion of a manual recount.