Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Friday called front-runner Donald Trump a “con artist,” pledging to expose the real estate mogul and pressure him to reveal his finances.
In a series of television interviews, the U.S. senator from Florida said working-class voters are being fooled by Trump’s lofty promises, despite his own string of lawsuits and the bankruptcies of Trump-related companies.
“We are not going to turn over the conservative movement to a con artist who is telling people one thing but has spent 40 years sticking it to working Americans and now claims to be their champion,” he said on NBC’s “Today” program.
Rubio’s comments echoed the attacks he and fellow senator and candidate Ted Cruz made on Trump during Thursday’s heated televised debate in Texas, one of 11 U.S. states set to vote in nominating contests on Tuesday.
Trump, in a post on Twitter Friday morning, fired back by saying: “Lightweight Marco Rubio was working hard last night. The problem is, he is a choker, and once a choker, always a chocker (sic)! Mr. Meltdown.”
“He’s says I’m a choker?” Rubio responded in an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He’s a con artist. It’s a fraud. We’re going to expose him.”
With Trump leading in opinion polls in nearly all of the “Super Tuesday” contests, Republicans are recognizing the brash mogul and reality television star is likely to be their nominee even as Rubio and Cruz try to shake up the race ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
Rubio, who has admittedly struggled with his own personal finances such as student loans, accused Trump of withholding his tax records because they likely show “he’s not as rich as he claims to be.”
Trump, who puts his fortune at $10 billion, has said he would release his tax records in coming months but said he cannot release his them now because he is being audited.
“He’s making things up,” Rubio told NBC. “We need to see those returns to see if the difference between the audited version and what he filed if there is evidence of wrongdoing.”
Asked if his strategy to push back against Trump now comes too late, Rubio said he was fighting for the good of his party. He said he would continue to gain support on Tuesday and predicted a win in his home state of Florida on March 15.
(Reporting by Washington newsroom; Editing by Bill Trott)
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.