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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Patrick Murphy bashes Marco Rubio for not disavowing Trump



Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy chastised Republican incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday for not condemning Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nominee's comments this weekend attacking the parents of a Muslim U.S. Army captain killed in Iraq.

"Donald Trump is the man Marco Rubio wants to see elected as our next commander-in-chief. It is unacceptable that Marco Rubio remains silent as Trump seeks to tear down everything this country stands for," Murphy, a congressman from Jupiter, said in a statement this afternoon.

Murphy added: "Trump has completely disqualified himself from the presidency, and if Marco Rubio can’t work up the courage to withdraw his endorsement, then he does not have the courage to be Florida's Senator."

While some other high-profile Republicans -- like Arizona Sen. John McCain -- have distanced themselves from Trump since this weekend, Rubio waited before commenting on Trump's widely criticized remarks in responding to Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the parents of the late Capt. Humayun Khan.

Rubio's campaign this afternoon sent out these comments that they said were made by the senator "earlier today" in Tampa:

On Saturday, Rubio affirmed his support for Trump, saying at a candidate forum in Sarasota: "We have to make sure that Donald wins this election."

Murphy is viewed as a front-runner in the Democratic field of candidates seeking to unseat Rubio. In the Aug. 30 primary, Murphy faces fellow U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando and former naval officer and labor attorney Pam Keith of Miami. Former assistant U.S. attorney Reginald Luster of Jacksonville and California real estate developer "Rocky" Roque De La Fuente of Orlando are also running.

Rubio's primary challenger is Manatee County home-builder Carlos Beruff, an outspoken Trump supporter.

This post has been updated with Rubio's comments, which were released shortly after original publication.

UPDATE 5:05 p.m. Murphy wasn't satisfied with Rubio's comments today, issuing this follow-up statement this evening:

"In his shockingly tone-deaf and inadequate response, Rubio failed to even mention Donald Trump’s name. This was not a condemnation of Trump. This was Marco Rubio once again proving that he would rather pursue his political ambition and abandon this country’s values than stand up to his party's racist nominee for President."

[Last modified: Monday, August 1, 2016 5:09pm]


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