By Jim DeFede

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Calling it nothing more than “rumor” and “gossip,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio said Ivanka Trump was never considering a run against him for his Senate seat.

“I’ve known Ivanka now for five or six years,” Rubio told CBS Miami. “I’ve worked with her and Jared on a bunch of initiatives. And this whole idea they were going to run was never under consideration. But people like to talk about stuff because it’s good to talk about it. I just let it play itself out.”

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The speculation that Ivanka might challenge Rubio in the Republican primary had been festering for several weeks and became a frequent topic on cable news, especially after the former First Daughter moved to a home on Indian Creek Island.

Rubio and Ivanka Trump spoke in early February, where she expressed her support for Rubio re-election in 2022. Rubio, however, downplayed the significance of that call.

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“I’ve talked to them all the time,” he said. “So it wasn’t one phone call. I talked to them several times before and leading up to and since they left their work at the White House. They’re now residents of South Florida, so we’ve talked a lot about that. And this whole idea they were going to run was never under consideration. But people like to talk about stuff because it’s good to talk about it. I just let it play itself out.”

While Rubio is focused on winning re-election, he did not rule out the possibility of running for President again in 2024. Rubio ran in 2016 but dropped out of the race after losing to Donald Trump in Florida’s Republican primary.

Asked specifically if he would rule out running in 2024, Rubio said: “The way I tell people about that is I already ran once. So clearly at some point I was interested in being President. So it’d be silly for me to say, `No, never.’ But frankly, one of the things I’ve learned, and you’ve known me a long time … is you’ve got to kind of focus on what’s before you, not always thinking about what’s down the road in a couple of years. I have a job. I have things I want to accomplish here, so I’m going to focus on that. I’m focused on re-election.”

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“So I just I’m not in a position to tell you where I’m going to be three years from now,” he continued. “We’ll see what the future holds, and I’ll cross that bridge when I get near that bridge.”

Jim DeFede