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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio pressed on why he's avoiding Donald Trump



Marco Rubio is drawing notice for his attempts to avoid discussing Donald Trump, and defended his posture today in New Hampshire.

"Donald hasn't really outlined any position on policies, with any detail,” he told reporters today in Laconia. “So, when the time comes, and it's appropriate, we'll do so. I really, quite frankly, largely spend my time talking about what I'm going to do when I'm president."

Rubio said he would “when the time comes.”

The Florida Republican has largely avoided invoking Trump’s name for months, instead using oblique references instead such as “Anger is not a solution.” He did tangle with Trump in September, calling him “thin-skinned.”

Jeb Bush, by contrast, has been battling with Trump for months and yesterday launched a TV ad against him in New Hampshire. Bush's campaign sent to reporters an NBC report about the Rubio news conference.

Rubio was asked by reporters about Trump’s assertion that Ted Cruz “stole” the election in Iowa. He declined to respond but directed fire at Ted Cruz, whose campaign on Monday in Iowa passed along a speculative report about Ben Carson dropping out.

“Ultimately I think it goes back to what I said before – and that is (Cruz’s) willingness to say or do anything, in this case, spread a false rumor about Ben Carson," Rubio said.

Cruz flatly denied foul play, saying today in Goffstown that his campoaign relied on a report from CNN. He has apologized to Carson.

The network did not say Carson was dropping out but reported that Carson was leaving Iowa for Florida. Carson says he was going to get “a fresh set of clothes.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 5:42pm]


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