Sen. Marco Rubio is making headlines by exchanging personal blows with Donald Trump, as he mocked his hands, his hair, his face, his spray tan, and his makeup, and even alluded to the size of his anatomy.
But by the time he wrapped up his last of five rallies in Oklahoma last night, he appeared ready to stop the childish insults. When a supporter yelled something about the size of Trump’s hands, Rubio declined to talk about it.
“We’re not talking about that today,” Rubio grinned. “It was fun while it lasted, but I wanted this to be a serious election about the future of America.”
Earlier in a rally in Georgia, Rubio was urged by supporters to read some mean tweets about Trump, but he backed off.
“Not today guys, I lost my voice, it’s too crazy,” he said.
Instead, Rubio hoarsely condemned Trump for failing to condemn the Klu Klux Klan, failing to hire American workers in his Miami resort, and his questionable tactics surrounding Trump University.
“This country is not going to elect someone that does not denounce the KKK,” Rubio said during a rally. “And in fact, there’s no room in the Republican party and there is no room in the conservative movement for the KKK or David Duke or anyone who will not condemn them.”
Rubio took the stage with retired conservative Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma who endorsed the Florida senator but didn’t join the throng of Republicans denouncing Trump. Instead, Coburn focused on why he chose Rubio insteaad of Ted Cruz, Ben Carson or the New York billionaire.
“To know somebody is to pray with them. To know somebody is to do Bible study with them,” Coburn said. “To know somebody is to know their family and watch how they parent. I’ve got to do all those things with Marco Rubio, so I know his heart.”
Coburn praised Rubio for his commitment to solving problems, reminding the audience that Rubio was among the first presidential candidate that had endorsed the idea of a convention of states.
Rubio also appeared on the Greta Van Susteren show to discuss his new campaign strategy.
“This is beginning to sound more like SNL, than it is a presidential race,” Van Susteren noted, citing a change in tone. “What do you say to your kids?”
“Every now and then someone like that needs a taste of their own medicine, because that’s called a bully,” Rubio said.
He blamed the media for only focusing on the personal attacks and bombastic statements from Trump, and ignoring his campaign that was focused on ideas.
“I talk about issues all the time. Unfortunately no one ever covers issues these days very much. That’s why Donald has gotten ten times as much coverage as anybody else because he is always insulting people and saying outrageous things.”
Later in the evening, Rubio sent a message to supporters that reminded them of how dangerous Trump was, instead of mocking his appearance:
Donald isn’t a joke. Believe me — I really never expected to be talking about spray tans while running for President.
Donald Trump is a serious threat to the future of our party, and our country.
I, like you probably, hoped and believed that our fellow Americans would see his cons for what they are, that slogans, celebrity, and tough-talking insults are not enough.
But here’s the truth: Americans are scared and angry. And in far too many cases, Donald Trump has been preying on their fears and their insecurities, successfully.
This is no joke. It’s time to fight back, because we’ve seen a scary side of Donald Trump. It isn’t just the opposite of what the Republican Party stands for, it’s the opposite of what America stands for.
During his rally at Jenks High School, Rubio warned that Trump was about to win the Republican nomination — which he argued would let Hillary Clinton win the White House.
“Let me just tell you, a vote for Donald Trump tomorrow, is literally a vote for Hillary Clinton in November,” he said. “And it cannot happen, we cannot elect Hillary Clinton.”