Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on Sunday that he supports Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in his bid for reelection, despite opposition from tea party groups.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) speaks in Washington on June 13. (Charles Dharapak/AP) Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Tea party critics disapprove of McConnell's handling of the shutdown showdown because he helped craft a deal that did not meet the demands of the most conservative members of Congress.

Rubio defended McConnell's record during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

"I think he's trying to lead our conference," he said. "It's a diverse conference with a lot of different opinions, and that's a tough job to begin with, and then of course he's got to represent his own state. At the end of the day, I think he has done a good job of being the leader of the Republican conference in the Senate, and that's not an easy job to do."

McConnell faces a GOP primary challenge from Matt Bevin, wealthy investment manager.