For a number of months, Florida senator Marco Rubio resisted taking on front-runner of the GOP Donald Trump, much to the GOP establishment’s chagrin.
The reluctance evaporated into thin air during the final presidential debate on Thursday prior to hugely important Super Tuesday.
Standing next to Trump, Rubio delivered blow after blow at the businessman. He attacked him on everything from is stand on immigration to healthcare and foreign policy to the hiring practices of the billionaire.
In the middle of the debate, filled with fireworks and barely audible exchanges in which all three candidates talked over one another furiously, Trump pointed at both men that flanked him and lashed out saying. “This is guy is a choke artist to Rubio, “and this other guy is a liar,” to Cruz.
Watching in the audience was George H.W. Bush the former president and Barbara his wife, whose era of politics has appeared to be long gone from the Republican Party of today.
Their attendance was that much more notable since it was the first debate of the GOP this political season in which Jeb, their son did not appear after he suspended his campaign earlier in the week.
Rubio’s change came only five days prior to the March 1 Super Tuesday contests when hundreds of delegates are decided.
The debate marked the strongest performance for the senator from Florida, who questioned Trump immediately about his stance on immigration.
He said Trump was the only person on the stage who had been fined for hiring people who were here illegally.
Rubio accused Trump of having Polish workers, but Trump dismissed it by saying it took place decades ago.
Rubio mocked Trump later for having what he called a fake school which was in reference to lawsuits filed against Trump University that allege deception and fraud.
Rubio and Trump clashed even more on healthcare and foreign policy, with Rubio taking the offensive as much as possible throughout the night.