Marco Rubio badly slammed GOP front-runner Donald Trump in Thursday night’s Republican debate. The Florida senator, Marco Rubio, and the Texas senator, Ted Cruz, persisted attacks on Trump over several issues at the debate including taxes, immigration, Trump’s business career and his history as a reality television host.
Both Rubio and Cruz are opening far up at Trump in the race for the Republican nomination. Trump is obviously the frontrunner in the primary contests as he has won the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries and Nevada caucuses. Rubio and Cruz have been combating to take Trump down and present themselves as a clear alternative.
Initially in the debate, Cruz attacked Trump with a witty remark on his career as a reality television host.
“In 2013, when I was leading the fight against the ‘Gang of Eight’ amnesty bill, where was Donald?” Cruz asked, referring to a Senate immigration bill co-sponsored by Rubio and seven other senators. “He was firing Dennis Rodman on ‘Celebrity Apprentice.'”
Cruz also accused Trump of funding the Gang of Eight bill. He said Trump had donated more than $50,000 to three Democrats and two Republican in the group.
“When you’re funding open-border politicians, you shouldn’t be surprised when they fight for open borders,” Cruz said.
The Texas senator also slammed Trump over an alleged history of hiring immigrants living in the country illegally. “Anyone who really cared about illegal immigration wouldn’t be hiring illegal immigrants,” Cruz said.
Rubio hit Trump over his inheritance and responded to Trump’s attack about Rubio’s relationship with lobbyists.
“Here’s a guy who inherited $200 million. If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be? He would be selling watches in Manhattan,” Rubio said.
The Florida senator also attacked trump over a lack of knowledge about healthcare policy. “You many not be aware of this, Donald, because you don’t follow this stuff very closely,” Rubio said.
“What is your plan? What is your plan on healthcare? … Your only thing is to get rid of the lines around the state,” Rubio continued.
Both Cruz and Rubio also hit Trump over his tax returns – an issue on which Trump has been targeted by the former Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Romney claimed on Wednesday that he has a suspect that there’s bombshell in Trump’s tax returns, and called on all the major candidates to release their tax returns.
In response to a question that why he has not released his tax return from last year, Trump said it’s because he’s being audited. “As soon as the audit is done, I love it,” Trump said.
Rubio implicitly criticized Trump for his audit. “Luckily, I’m not being audited this year, or last year, for that matter,” Rubio said.
Cruz joined in on the attack. After he had been asked about why he has not released his tax returns from 2012 to 2014, he turned to attack Trump.
“I would note that … Donald says he’s being audited,” Cruz said. “I would think that would underscore the need to release those returns. If he has said something that was false and that an audit is going to find was fraudulent, the voters need to know.”
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