Apparently for Rubio, nothing — not even Trump bragging about sexual assault or Trump's company violating the Cuban embargo or Trump mocking him on the national stage — is worse than a President Hillary Clinton. In a statement released Tuesday, Rubio says:
"I ran against Donald Trump. And while I respect that voters chose him as the GOP nominee, I have never hesitated to oppose his policies I disagree with. And I have consistently rejected his offensive rhetoric and behavior. I disagree with him on many things, but I disagree with his opponent on virtually everything. I wish we had better choices for President. But I do not want Hillary Clinton to be our next President. And therefore my position has not changed."Shortly after the video was made public by The Washington Post, Rubio tweeted that Trump's comments were "impossible to justify."
Donald's comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 8, 2016
No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.
Rubio, who is running against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy to keep his seat, currently has a 7-point lead over his Democratic challenger.
"Marco Rubio stands for nothing but his own pursuit of power," Murphy says in a statement released after Rubio's initial comments.
Politico reports Rubio's tepid response to the video may be coming from the fact that the incumbent was beaten handily by Trump in the Republican presidential primary in Florida last March. Still, Murphy and other Democrats aren't having it, pointing to the fact that other Republicans have denounced Trump.
"(Rubio) stands with a man who bragged about sexually assaulting women," says Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant in a statement. "He stands with a man who mocks people with disabilities and threatens to jail political opponents. He stands with a man who has embraced racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia. How can Floridians expect Marco Rubio to stand up for them when he can't even stand up for what he believes?"