Tennessee governor endorses Rubio in Republican presidential bid
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Thursday endorsed U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida for the Republican party's presidential nomination.

"With Marco standing next to Hillary Clinton on a debate stage, the choice between the future and the past will be clear to every American. Marco has the innovative policy agenda to reclaim the American Dream for all our people, and his conservative ideas will bring the Republican Party – and America – into the future," Haslam, a popular second-term Republican governor, said in a statement.

Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas have been trailing real estate billionaire Donald Trump in most polls in the race to represent the party in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

(Reporting by Eric Walsh; Editing by Susan Heavey)