Florida Sen. Marco Rubio opened his victory speech Tuesday by quipping about when he spoke after losing to Donald Trump in the Republican presidential primary in March.
"Let me start by saying that this is a lot better than the last time I did one of these in Miami," said Rubio, who defeated Democrat Rep. Patrick Murphy to win a second term, at a Miami hotel.
The crowd roared. He was flanked by his wife, Jeanette, and their four children.
"A few minutes ago, I got off the phone ago with Congressman Murphy, and I congratulated him on a good race.
"Congressman Murphy's a young man with a bright future — and I thanked him for his willingness to step forward in public service."
Rubio, 45, won a bruising battle to Murphy, 33, a three-term representative who was backed by the national Democratic Party.
Republicans pressed Rubio to seek re-election after the primary loss out of fear that his seat might flip to Democrats.
"Running for office is hard," Rubio added. "Putting your name on the ballot is hard.
"I congratulate him and his family and look forward to seeing the ways he's going to serve this country in the future.
"Patrick ran a great race."
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