Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy questioned how Republican Sen. Marco Rubio could stand by Donald Trump at the first U.S. Senate debate, especially since Rubio attacked Trump throughout the Republican presidential primary.
"My opponent, Marco Rubio, made it clear: Not only does he think Donald Trump is a con man, he went on to say he doesn't trust Donald Trump with the nuclear codes," Murphy said in Orlando on Oct. 17.
Murphy is right — Rubio has not held back in his words against Trump. On multiple occasions, Rubio referred to Trump as a con man or con artist and said he doesn’t trust Trump with the nuclear codes.
Rubio did not deny the comments in his response, saying, "I don’t trust either one of them. And the job of a U.S. senator is not to blindly trust a president because they happen to be from your own party."
He added later: "I stand by everything I ever said in the Republican primary. And I would admit right off the bat this is not the most inspirational choice we’ve ever had in American history in terms of these two candidates."
The problem, Rubio said, is Democrat Hillary Clinton is even less trustworthy with sensitive information than Trump.
So the candidates agree that Rubio trashed Trump but backs the nominee anyway. We ran down the quotes in question.
Rubio dubbed Trump a con on multiple occasions when he was vying for the Republican nomination. Most of the name-calling happened after a Feb. 25 GOP primary debate, as Rubio made the morning TV news rounds and attended rallies.
Rubio called Trump a con man four times in 15 seconds at a rally in Oklahoma City on Feb. 26.
"I will never stop until we keep a con man from taking over the party of Reagan and the conservative movement," Rubio said of Trump. "He’s a con man. He's a con man. He’s a con man. I'll tell you why."
Rubio, who was critical of Trump’s business background, accused Trump of "taking advantage" of voters’ economic anxiety.
"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 said on CBS.
In that same interview, Rubio said he doesn’t trust giving an "erratic individual" like Trump the nuclear codes.
"This is the most important government job on the planet, and we're about to turn over the conservative movement to a person that has no ideas of any substance on the important issues — the nuclear codes of the United States — to an erratic individual — and the conservative movement — to someone who has spent a career sticking it to working people," Rubio said.
Murphy said Rubio "made it clear, not only does he think Donald Trump is a con man, he went on to say he doesn't trust Donald Trump with the nuclear codes."
Transcripts and Rubio himself confirm this claim. Rubio even told Monday’s debate crowd he still doesn’t trust Trump with the nuclear codes — he just distrusts Clinton more.
We rate Murphy’s claim True.