Marco Rubio Attacks Donald Trump at GOP Debate

The biggest question heading into Thursday night’s GOP debate was whether Marco Rubio would finally go on the offensive against Donald Trump. Rubio provided an answer in the first minute of the debate. He took a veiled shot at Trump in his opening remarks by emphasizing the need for the party to stay true to its conservative roots.

He continued in the first few minutes of the debate by saying that Trump’s position on key issues are “new” implying that he has changed positions since running for the Republican nomination. He also attacked Trump by noting he hired workers illegally during his years as a businessman.

Here’s more details on Trump’s alleged work with undocumented Polish workers.

Trump responded by noting that Rubio has not hired anyone in his life. Rubio later criticized Trump for “bankrupting four companies” and running a “fake university”.

Rubio’s attack effort comes after a number of prominent members of the Republican party have gone after Trump in recent days including Mitt Romney. Romney told FOX News that Trump had a “bombshell” in his taxes suggesting Trump has been dishonest about his tax returns.

This prompted Trump to issue a series of tweets including these:

Romney responded with a tweet of his own:

Romney’s comments along with a number of endorsements from members of the Republican establishment, point to a growing uneasiness among party members with the idea of Trump winning the Republican nomination. Rubio is seen as more of a traditional Republican candidate and aligns more with the conservative members of the party.

Rubio’s attack on Trump marks a shift from candidates reluctance to go after him in earlier debates. Trump himself is no stranger to confrontation. In previous debates he has gone after Ted Cruz calling him a “liar” and criticized Jeb Bush for his father being in office when the September 11th attacks occurred.

Prior to tonight, his opponents have not been as willing to return the verbal jabs. Cruz and Rubio need a big showing on Super Tuesday to have a chance at competing with Trump for the nomination.

Rubio’s comments at the debate followed his criticism of Trump earlier this week for not going far enough to support Israel. Rubio’s attacks are calculated as an attempt to slow down Trump’s recent surge in the primaries as the candidates head to a decisive Super Tuesday with many delegates at stake.

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