Oklahoma’s former Senator Coburn pledged his support to Marco Rubio.

Coburn didn’t have many positive things to say about fellow presidential contender, Donald Trump.

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn on Monday endorsed U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for the GOP presidential nomination and said Donald Trump was “perpetuating a fraud.”

Coburn, a Republican who was Oklahoma’s most popular political figure when he resigned in early 2015, said Rubio was the only Republican candidate in the mold of former President Ronald Reagan.

Senator Coburn served with both Sen. Rubio and Sen. Cruz. In his endorsement, Sen. Coburn wrote:

“Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, ‘Cowardice asks the question – is it safe? Expediency asks the question – is it politic? Vanity asks the question – is it popular? But conscience asks the question – is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.’

“At a time when our republic, and the Republican Party, is at a crossroads I have no doubt that the right choice for America is Marco Rubio. America desperately needs a president who will appeal to people’s highest aspirations rather than their deepest fears; a president who will model servant leadership rather than self-promotion; and a president who will cast a vision and unite the country instead of denigrating dissenters as second-class citizens. Marco would be such a president. I urge voters in Oklahoma and across the country to take a stand for freedom and stand with Marcoon Tuesday and throughout this campaign.

“Marco is the only candidate in this race who is in the mold of President Reagan. While some are offering a message of victimization and helplessness against Washington, Marco understands that ‘We the People’ are the establishment and the elites in American society. We need a president who will reawaken our belief in the American idea and not merely complain about how things are but challenge us to dream of what could be.

“In Washington, Marco has been an extremely effective Tea Party senator. No candidate running for president has fought Obamacare more effectively than Marco and no one has a better grasp of foreign affairs and America’s place in the world.

“As a physician, business owner, member of the Class of 1994 and later as a U.S. Senator, I came to understand the depth of the American people’s frustration with the status quo. Voters are right to be upset with the direction of the country. And even though the ranks of conservatives in Washington have grown, the pace of change simply isn’t fast enough.

“The candidacy of Donald Trump, however, threatens to undo and reverse years of work that began with Goldwater and Reagan – work that future movements like the 1994 Republican Revolution and the Tea Party sought to preserve and perfect.

“Donald Trump’s campaign is a fabrication. He is perpetuating a fraud on the American people. His empty promises, bullying and bloviating rhetoric will only deepen the frustration and disillusionment that gave rise to his campaign. He simply lacks the character, skills and policy knowledge to turn his grandiose promises into reality.

“Put simply, Donald Trump has no plan to make America great again. He is a populist without portfolio.”

Rubio also received the endorsement of Senator Lamar Alexander. The founder of Hobby Lobby, too, endorsed Rubio:

Sen. Marco Rubio won the endorsement on Sunday of Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green, and planned more Oklahoma stops on the eve of Super Tuesday primaries.

Green, whose family is known for a nationwide chain of crafts stores and for a Supreme Court victory against the birth control mandate in Obamacare, issued a statement that was nearly equal parts endorsement of Rubio for the GOP presidential nomination and condemnation of billionaire Donald Trump.

Green said, “Our family business that we began with $600 has quite possibly been more successful than Mr. Trump’s, but that doesn’t make either of us qualified to be president.

“And unlike Mr. Trump, we give all the credit to God. Marco Rubio has impressed us with his preparation and the way he carries himself. But most importantly, Marco regularly exhibits humility and gives the glory to God. Humility is what brings success.

“I don’t see humility in Mr. Trump, and that scares me to death. I want a president that my kids, my grandkids and my great-grandkids can emulate.”

“In Marco Rubio, I see a man who has achieved great things from humble beginnings, but gives the glory to God, where it belongs.”

If endorsements matter, Rubio is lapping the competition. According to FiveThirtyEight, endorsements do matter and can be a good predictor of candidate success. So, they’re keeping score:

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Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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