Presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio used a Saturday appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference to hammer GOP front-runner Donald Trump, slamming the billionaire for his unruly attitude and the money he inherited.
While the Florida Republican did not initially name Trump directly in his speech, he threw a thinly veiled criticism at his rival while he discussed the path the country is on and and the future of the conservative movement.
“It can never be simply about an attitude. Being a conservative cannot be simply about how angry you are willing to be or how many names you are willing to call people,” he said. “Conservatism has never been about fear or anger, not at its best.”
While calling for smaller government and power returning to the states, the candidate took another swing, saying he wants solutions for reasons other than being rich.
“Conservatism means be embracing – re-embracing free enterprise,” he said. “Not because my parents are wealthy or I inherited millions of dollars, but because I met people and shook the hands of the people doing the jobs that my parents once did.”
Following the speech, Rubio sat down with CNN’s Dana Bash who inquired what he thought about Trump dropping out of the conference last minute, to which he responded: “Well the American Conservative Union should be reserved for Conservatives, right?”
The politician went on to defend his attacks on the real-estate mogul, adding he thinks too many of the questions he is asked revolve around his opinions on the front-runner when they should instead focus his policies – which was met with cheers from the audience.
“I did not get into this to beat up on other candidates,” he said. “If you told me a year ago that the front runner of the Republican campaign would be a supporter of planned parenthood, who does not stand with Israel — I would say, on what planet would that be the Republican front runner?”
Rubio said he is confident he will win the Florida primary on March 15 despite trailing in the polls.
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