It was the most-watched presidential debate in history, 84 million people tuning in to see Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton clash for the first time.
What did former presidential candidate and current U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio think?
"I didn't see it guys," the Florida Republican told reporters. "I was on an airplane."
Two days later, Newsweek published a report asserting that a company Trump controlled violated the U.S. embargo against Cuba. "The article makes some very serious and troubling allegations," Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said in a statement. "I will reserve judgment until we know all the facts and Donald has been given the opportunity to respond."
Rubio was more cautious in an interview on ESPN's Capital Games podcast. "Well first, I did read the stories about the story. I haven't read the actual story," he said. "I've had articles written about me that aren't 100 percent accurate, so I need to see what their response is. And this is something they're going to have to give a response to. I mean it was a violation of American law if that's how it happened. And so it's important to know the facts. And you know the benefit of the doubt."
So goes Rubio's awkward balancing act with Trump. He conspicuously avoids the GOP standard-bearer but is careful not to alienate the significant support Trump is drawing in Florida.