Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio did a whirlwind of Friday-morning interviews in which he repeated the same line against Donald Trump.
Trump, Rubio stressed again and again — and again — is “a con artist.”
In at least three interviews, Rubio used the term in total more than a dozen times while describing Trump.
“If this pattern continues, the conservative movement and the Republican Party is going to be taken over by a con artist,” Rubio said of Trump’s momentum on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
He later added of the conservative movement: “I’m going to fight now. Because there’s no way … I’m going to allow it to be taken over by a con artist. He says I’m a ‘choker.’ He’s a con artist!”
At the debate the night before, both Trump and Rubio accused each other of regurgitating talking points, one of many fierce exchanges between the two GOP candidates during the event. Rubio also attacked Trump over his business record, foreign-policy views, and more.
On CBS’ “This Morning” Friday, Rubio was asked if he had hit the “panic button” as the swath of “Super Tuesday” states approach next week while Trump dominates in the polls.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Rubio replied. “I can just tell you that a con artist is about to take over the Republican Party and the conservative movement. And we have to put a stop to it.”
Rubio went on to accuse the media of propping up Trump in order to help the Democrats maintain control of the White House:
Unfortunately, he’s being pumped up because many in the media with a bias know that he’ll be easy to beat in a general election. So, we’re going to put a stop to it now. There’s no way that we’re going to allow a con artist to take over the conservative movement. And Donald Trump is a con artist.
Rubio later said didn’t want to attack fellow Republicans, but he had to stop Trump:
I would prefer not to get into a fight with other Republicans. But I would much more prefer not to turn over the party to a con artist like Donald Trump. … If you’re a Republican, and you don’t want your party taken over by a con artist like Donald Trump, unite behind us.
And on NBC’s “Today Show,” Rubio said at various points:
We’re on the verge of having someone take over the conservative movement and the Republican Party who’s a con artist. … We are not going to turn over the conservative movement to a con artist. … Again, this guy is a con artist. …
If you want to stop this man, Donald Trump, this con artist, from taking over the conservative movement, then I ask you to go on our website, MarcoRubio.com, sign up, and help us. And we’ll put an end to this lunacy.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.