As Sen. Ted Cruz redirects his negative attacks on his colleague, Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida senator is calling out his presidential opponent in return on the campaign trail.
During an event in Sioux City, Iowa today, Rubio specifically responded to Cruz by name.
“Cruz has been my friend and is. He’s decided to run a very deceitful campaign at the end on some things he’s saying, people see through that,” he said during a town hall today.
At a rally in Ames, Rubio pointed out that it was typical politics in the runup to the final vote in Iowa.
“Now we’re in the last couple of days of a campaign, and you know what happens in the last couple of days, right? Desperation kicks in, the kitchen sink comes out and is thrown at you,” he said during a rally in Ames, Iowa this afternoon. “We know these things are going to happen, none of it bothers me.”
But it appears that the Rubio campaign is not taking the recent attacks from Cruz lightly.
On cap-and-trade, Rubio accused Cruz of editing his remarks to make it sound as if he supported it, describing it as “outrageous” and “disingenuous.”
“They edit the video, they cut it off at the point where I actually say what my position is, they cut the video,” he said, retelling the story of how he fought cap-and-trade in Florida. “What I say next is, ‘But I don’t support cap-and-trade.’”
Staffers and supporters started spreading an anti-Cruz hashtag #desperaTED to highlight the attacks.
Rubio told voters that his Republican primary opponents were spending $30 million attacking him, trying to get him out of the way.
“In a way it’s a good thing … you don’t spend $30 million against someone who isn’t doing well, and you don’t spend $30 million attacking someone that can’t win,” he said.
Rubio dismissed Cruz’s “recycled attack ad” from his Senate campaign against the more liberal Charlie Crist and urged voters to visit his website to see the whole video. He said the dishonest attack called into question Cruz’s judgement. He said:
The other side should be embarrassed by what they did with that video. If you are willing to say or do anything including disingenuously edit a video like that, I think that calls into question your judgement and I think it calls into question how far you are willing to go. I can tell you this, we are not going to beat Hillary Clinton with a candidate that is willing to say or do anything, including things that are untrue, because the American people will see that and they’ll vote against us, and then we’ll lose.
Rubio’s final argument is that he will help unite the conservative movement and the Republican party, if he is nominated.
“We’re going to bring the conservative movement together, we’re going to unite this party quickly, because we can’t win if we’re divided against each other,” he said.
Rubio is holding four campaign events today in Iowa and three events tomorrow.