Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, was asked about his thoughts on his opponent, nomination front-runner Donald Trump.
Rubio was particularly critical of Trump for his reactions to his critics and for what he suggested was a lack of knowledge about policy.
Partial transcript as follows:
O’REILLY: All right. New Bloomberg poll has Trump 21, Ben Carson 16, Jeb Bush 13 — that’s different from the Fox poll. He is at 7 in the Fox poll. Carly Fiorina 11 and you are at 9. Everybody else is kind of out of it at this point.
When Governor Walker quit, in his remarks he said that he hopes all of the remaining candidates will join together to defeat Trump. What did you think when he said that?
RUBIO: Well, what I think is we need to have a real — someone who is a serious person, someone who is serious about the future of our country. Someone who understands the challenges we face. This election is not about any of us individually. It’s about the United States of America at one of the most critical times in its history both geopolitically and domestically here with our economy.
We need to have someone who has real thoughts and depth on —
O’REILLY: Are you saying Mr. Trump doesn’t have those real thoughts?
RUBIO: Well, if you watched the debate last week I think that answers itself. When the debate turned to policy he stood silent for 23 minutes. And that’s why he had such a bad debate. That’s why he’s now reacting the way he is and continuing to offend anyone who criticizes him.
He is very thin-skinned obviously. He’s very sensitive to criticism. He can’t have a conversation about policy because quite frankly he doesn’t know anything about policy.
His foreign policy apparently is a secret. He can’t tell us because he doesn’t want to reveal it to the enemy.
O’REILLY: Well, it’s not really a secret. But I put forth that he has been good for the Republican Party, Trump, in general because he has brought so many new people in to watch these debates. Would you cede that Trump has been good?
RUBIO: Look, I’m glad that we have some people paying attention.
O’REILLY: Ok, good.
I think to be fair, he has, like him or not, he has stimulated debate and he has gotten everybody involved who is going to get involved. The other zombies, no matter what you do.
RUBIO: Let me be clear, bill, I don’t dislike anyone who is running for president personally. I’m running for president on my agenda because I believe this country can be greater than it’s ever been but it’s on the road to decline. And that’s what this campaign needs to be about. That’s what we are going to remain focused on.
Am I glad that people are tuning in and watching? Absolutely. Because I think if you look at what we offer as a party as a movement and a conservative movement it is superior to what the other side has forced upon this country for the last seven years.
O’REILLY: Well, we’ll see. We will see. This is going to be some race, Senator. And we always appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. Thank you.
RUBIO: Thank you. Thanks.
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