As Marco Rubio continues to steadily rise in the polls and as Jeb Bush continues to fall, Rubio becomes the likely target for Donald Trump. Trump, despite all of his bluster about the polls, has actually fallen the last couple of weeks and for the first time since July 19th does not lead in the Real Clear Politics Average, Ben Carson does.
Marco Rubio’s ascension has been slower, but clearly he is making Trump nervous. In mid-September when Trump was at his polling height, moving past the 30% mark, Rubio was behind Jeb Bush and [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and just ahead of Mike Huckabee at 5%. Now Rubio is at 11% nationally. Carson and Trump still have nearly 50% of the vote between but Trump is obviously worried about Rubio as he has turned his rapid fire mouth towards the Florida Senator.
Donald Trump went hard after [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] on his financial history, accusing the senator of being a “disaster with his credit cards.”
“For years I’ve been hearing that his credit cards are a disaster. … He certainly lives above his means, there’s no question about that,” said Trump in remarks at Trump Tower on Tuesday.
Rubio responded today on “America’s Newsroom,” scoffing at Trump’s criticism in a sit-down with Martha MacCallum.
Rubio has also taken a lot of criticism over his immigration policies. There is a sliver of conservatives who said they will not vote for Rubio due to the immigration bill he worked on in 2013. Still, that did not stop him going after Trump for being a flip-flopper on immigration:
[mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] on Wednesday slammed Donald Trump’s record on immigration, saying he only became a hardliner on the issue once he started running for president.
Rubio was asked on Fox News about a poll in Florida showing Rubio and former Florida governor Jeb Bush trailing Trump in their home state. Rubio said it had absolutely nothing to do with Trump’s stances on immigration, which currently include an aggressive proposal to build a huge wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and to deport more than 11 million undocumented immigrants.
“Well first of all, Donald was a supporter of amnesty and the DREAM Act, he changed his position on those issues just to run for president,” Rubio said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “But beyond it, I don’t think that’s the issue that’s driving it. Florida voters are following the national trends and watching the news cycle. I’m confident that as we get closer to a real election in Florida, those numbers are going to change. And they will.”
Rubio’s slam comes as Trump has ratcheted up his attacks on the Florida senator, who had a standout performance at last week’s debate and has secured some high-profile endorsements, including one from mega donor Paul Singer.
Nothing in this primary season so far has been predictable (well except maybe for the seers who said Rick Santorum wouldn’t have much success) so there’s no telling there this goes but it’s obvious Rubio is not going to stay silent when Trump goes after him.