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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Patrick Murphy calls on Rubio to unendorse Trump

8

October

As other U.S. Senators who had previously endorsed Donald Trump rescind their endorsements, Democrat Patrick Murphy is turning up the heat on Marco Rubio to do the same for face political repersussions with just 31 days until the election.

"Marco Rubio claims he ran for reelection to serve as a check on the next President, even if the next President is his preferred candidate Donald Trump," Murphy said in a statement. "But how can he serve as a check on a Trump Presidency if he won't even hold Trump accountable as a candidate? If Senator Rubio cannot withdraw his endorsement after this latest sickening news, then he should withdraw from the race."

Murphy's comments come just over an hour after U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said on Twitter that she will not vote for Trump, even though she had previously endorsed him.

"I wanted to be able to support my party's nominee, chosen by the people, because I feel strongly that we need a change in direction for out country," Ayotte said before declaring she will not vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton.

She joins U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho; Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Mark Kirk, R-Ill., as others who have said they won't vote for Trump.

Rubio so far has only criticized Trump for the comments and has not said whether he will change his decision to vote for Trump.

"Donald's comments were vulgar, egregious & impossible to justify," Rubio said on Twitter after Trump's comments were broadcast. "No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private."

Rubio has repeatedly told reporters he would support the Republican nominee. But instead of heaping praise on Trump, Rubio has framed his support as opposition to Clinton at all costs.

Rubio's campaign has not responded to Murphy's statement. Rubio himself announced on social media that he is doing an aeriel tour of northeast Florida which is recovering from Hurricane Matthew.

Rubio and Murphy are battling for the U.S. Senate in one of 9 races nationwide that are considered critical in which party will control the U.S. Senate next year. Rubio has led every one of more than 20 public polls released since July, but he said on Fox News on Friday he still is anticipating a close race because of Florida's history of having tight battles. In the last two governors races and the last presidential contest, the winner has won by less than 75,000 votes in a state of more than 12 million voters.

[Last modified: Saturday, October 8, 2016 1:55pm]

    

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