The host of NBC’s Today Show put Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on the spot Friday morning after he stunned viewers of Thursday night’s GOP debate by saying he would support rival Donald Trump if he won the Republican presidential nomination.
Rubio’s surprise debate comment came as his campaign continues to cash in on the #NeverTrump merchandise being sold on his website.
“What he has done, he has turned the most important election in a generation into a circus and a freakshow,” Rubio initially told Savannah Guthrie. “I want that to end, and I’m going to continue to work for that to end,” in video captured by Media Matters.
Guthrie countered by pointing out that the Florida senator had just spent the week calling Trump, “a fraud, saying he doesn’t really know much about foreign policy, and seems totally uncurious to learn.’
Pressing Rubio over his debate-ending comments where he stated he would get behind Trump, she asked: “How do you square those two things?”
“Yeah, I get it,” a subdued Rubio replied. “I mean that’s the quandary that we’re in, right. We as Republicans feel that Hillary Clinton would be a disaster to the country. That’s how bad she is. I would look at that as a reflection of how bad she is, not as good Donald Trump is.”
“There is a reason why that question is being asked,” Rubio said about his change of heart.”And that is because there is a significant percentage of people in our party that will never vote for him, that do not want him as our nominee because he’s vulgar, but also has no policy ideas. And the ones he has outlined are either dangerous or unserious. We’re in a really bad spot here right now.”
Saying, “I hear you,” Guthrie didn’t relent, asking, “But when push came to shove, you said you’d go into the ballot box and vote for Donald Trump.”
“Yeah, I know. Look, I’m not voting for Hillary Clinton,” he replied before adding that, in order to avoid voting for Trump, Republicans should “unify around a campaign like mine because I can bring this party together and I can grow it. And we’re not going to be able to do that under Donald Trump.”
Watch the video below from NBC: