- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Monday that Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a 2016 GOP rival, is a “lightweight” desperately in need of money.

Senator Rubio is a lightweight — we understand that,” Mr. Trump said, speaking during a question-and-answer session after unveiling details of his tax plan. “He wouldn’t be able to do this — he wouldn’t know a trade deal from any other deal and what certain people are trying to do is they’re trying to take - we just went up in the last poll, we went up two points in the last poll and we continue to go up.”

“In the NBC poll I think we went from 26 to 29 — we’re going up very strongly in the polls — they don’t know what to do about it,” Mr. Trump said. “I built a great company — you’ll see that in ‘60 Minutes’ last night. I built a great company — it’s a phenomenal company with very little debt, tremendous cash flow.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Rubio have been exchanging barbs recently, with Mr. Trump saying Mr. Rubio, 44, is a kid who shouldn’t be running for president. Mr. Rubio said in an interview with NPR that he’s not interested in the back-and-forth or in being part of Mr. Trump’s “freak show.”

“I’m funding my own campaign - guys like Rubio, I mean, he desperately needs money — ask the car dealer in Florida,” Mr. Trump said, a possible reference to billionaire Norman Braman, who has given millions to a pro-Rubio super PAC. “Ask the people that support him. And a guy like Rubio, and others — I don’t want to single him out, you’re singling him out — but they’re largely controlled by their donors, the special interests and, frankly, more than anybody else, the lobbyists.”

Mr. Trump said he’s turned down “millions and millions” of dollars from lobbyists and special interests “because it’s not the right thing — it’s just not right.”

“And that seems to be resonating very strongly,” he said.

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