Sen. Marco Rubio’s fight with Donald Trump is showing new urgency as he approaches Super Tuesday.
“I say this to you, without any hesitation, and without any glee, a vote for Donald Trump tomorrow is a vote for Hillary Clinton in November,” Rubio said dramatically during a rally in Atlanta today.
After a rally in Knoxville, Tennessee it was clear that Rubio was losing his voice. Instead of canceling his event, however, the campaign called on South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to open up his rally.
Haley brought Rubio on stage, informing the crowed that the Florida senator had lost his voice and that she would speak for him for a while.
Haley immediately went after Donald Trump, condemning him for refusing to denounce the Klu Klux Klan and David Duke in a CNN interview on Sunday.
She referred to a KKK rally in Charleston, South Carolina after the racially motivated church shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Church — and her subsequent effort to remove the Confederate Flag from the capitol state house grounds.
“We saw and looked at true hate in the eyes last year in Charleston,” she said. “I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK. That is not a part of our party, that’s not who we want as president we will not allow that in our country. That is not who our Republican party is, that is not who America is.”
Haley said she disapproved of Trump’s controversial antics on the campaign trail.
“Donald Trump is everything I taught my children not to do in kindergarten,” she said. “I taught my two little ones — you don’t lie and make things up … you don’t push people around and just tell them what you think should happen.”
She also praised Rubio for taking on Trump in the last debate.
“I told my two little ones, to do exactly what Marco Rubio did in the last debate — when a bully hits you, you hit that bully right back,” she said as the crowd cheered wildly.
During her speech, it appeared that she was prepared to attack Hillary Clinton, but instead referred to “Hillary Trump” which prompted laughter from the crowd.
“That could be something,” she joked. “That even cracked me up.”
She pointed out that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were under investigation — citing Trump’s tax situation as a problem for a man running for president.
When Rubio took the microphone, it was clear that his voice wasn’t entirely gone, but he thanked Haley profusely after she spoke.
“If you want to know what the Republican party should be about, if you want to know what the conservative movement should be about, if you want to know what the party of Lincoln and Reagan should always be about, you should look at Nikki Haley,” he said. “That is what our party is about.”
But Rubio admitted that he had grown weary of the personal insults that he had been employing on the campaign trail.
“I suppose I could sit here today and hurl personal insults against him because he’s done that his whole campaign, I’ve done it a couple times lately,” he said resisting requests from his supporters to read more of Trump’s mean tweets.
“Not today guys, I lost my voice, it’s too crazy,” he said. He complained that he had to insult Trump personally to get the same level of coverage from the media.
But Rubio did take time defend the size of his ears.
“You know what my ears are? They’re the way God made them,” he said.
In spite of his vocal troubles, Rubio vowed to continue his vigorous campaign schedule.
“I will continue to speak out until I literally have no voice left,” he said. “I will go anywhere to speak to anyone before I let a con-artist get ahold of the Republican party and the conservative movement.”
Both Haley and Rubio urged supporters to talk to the friends who supported Trump and convince them to vote for someone else.
He admitted that the media and the pundits had declared Trump’s victory a foregone conclusion, but urged his supporters to vote for him anyway.
“In the end its up to you, it’s not up to them,” he said.