Marco Rubio is a man of principle. You'll notice we did not use the word "principles" — that would be far too generous. Rubio abides by a single rule in his life: Do whatever the hell necessary to appease the voter base and get
And today, as the Trump campaign plummets from the sky like a faulty SpaceX rocket, Rubio told America he'll stick by Trump — a man who has been caught on tape bragging about his ability to sexually abuse women.
"I ran against Donald Trump," he said in a statement released this afternoon. "And while I respect that voters chose him as the GOP nominee, I have never hesitated to oppose his policies I disagree with. And I have consistently rejected his offensive rhetoric and behavior. I disagree with him on many things, but I disagree with his opponent on virtually everything. I wish we had better choices for President. But I do not want Hillary Clinton to be our next president. And therefore my position has not changed."
Rubio's statement is not only morally indefensible — it's also untrue. Rubio, who is running for reelection to the U.S. Senate, has consistently refused to denounce Trump's conduct. After Newsweek revealed that Trump violated the Cuban embargo (and straight-up lied to Miami Cubans) in the 1990s, Rubio — who is pro-embargo and anti-Castro — said nary a word.
After Rubio released his statement, his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy, said Rubio "stands for nothing but his own pursuit of power."
When the Washington Post initially published the now-infamous tape last week of Trump bragging about kissing women and grabbing them "by the pussy" without their consent, Rubio called Trump's remarks "vulgar, egregious, and impossible to justify." In the clip, Trump also brags to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about the fact that he tried to cheat on his wife Melania after mere months of marriage. Trump says he took a woman out furniture shopping before he "moved on her like a bitch."
He also refers to a female soap opera star as "it." After the woman walks by, Bush comments on her legs, to which Trump responds, "It looks good." He then says he would need to eat some Tic Tacs in case he started uncontrollably kissing her.
More than three dozen Republican leaders — including Paul Ryan and John McCain — have now said they will either not support Trump or will vote for his opponent. (Of course, their actions come quite late in the game — those same leaders stood by Trump when he insulted Mexicans, Muslims, immigrants, war heroes, women, and the parents of dead American soldiers.)
It's not clear what benefit Rubio would gain in standing by Trump either. The Senate candidate is leading Murphy in the polls at the moment. Rubio could easily win back his seat without supporting Trump — but it appears he's simply too afraid to stand up for himself.