By Daniel Chaitin • 12/30/15 9:28 PM

Marco Rubio got a nod from another politician who previously ran for the Republican presidential nomination.

Former Texas Sen. Phil Gramm, who ran an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1996, told U.S. News and Report that Rubio's "got a Reaganesque quality to him. He can state strong positions and still smile. His optimism shines in an era where people are not very optimistic."

While he said his vote would go to Rubio, if Gramm were a betting man, he would invest his money in Republican front-runner Donald Trump.

"If I was going to invest my money I'd invest it with Trump, but my vote would go to Rubio," Gramm said.

"I disagree with a lot of what Trump is saying," Gramm added. "Looking back on it now I have to give him his dues. He has spoken to a lot of frustrations that people like me weren't paying attention to. At the end of the day I think he will have contributed to our process. I wouldn't have said that six months ago, but I believe it now."

Trump leads the RealClearPolitics average of polls at 35.6 percent, while Rubio is a distant third with 11.6 percent. In the Washington Examiner's latest power rankings, Trump sits in second, while Rubio dropped from third to fourth from last week.