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Bill Nelson: 'My sense is that Marco is running for president'

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio may not have officially declared a run for the White House, but his Democratic counterpart, Sen. Bill Nelson, is convinced he’ll put his hat in the ring — at least for now.

Speaking Friday afternoon in Tallahassee, Nelson had this to say about a Rubio presidential run:

“My sense is that Marco is running for president But my sense also is that about a year from now, if he doesn’t catch fire, he has the option always of stepping back into the Senate race.”

Rubio has been putting himself out there as a likely candidate, Nelson said, including customary trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and the Conservative Political Action Conference.

“Marco is really out,” Nelson said. “He’s going as hard as he can, and he’s going all over the country.”

With Rubio and Jeb Bush being heralded as likely candidates, political horserace watchers nationally have turned their eyes to Florida.

“I kid with him all the time,” Nelson said. “I’ll say, ‘Well, you and Jeb, maybe I oughta get into the race. We could make this a trifecta.’”

For what it’s worth, Nelson said that’s not in the cards. His seat is up in 2018. What’s next? He wouldn’t say other than to point out he’s continuing to raise money.