- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida responded to recent attacks by some of his 2016 GOP presidential rivals by saying former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have had a “tough couple days” and that he’s not running to beat up on other Republicans.

“I think when people attack you, usually they don’t attack someone who isn’t doing well,” Mr. Rubio told CNN. “You usually only get attacked in politics if you present a threat to someone.”

“I think Chris has had — both Jeb and Chris have had a tough couple days,” Mr. Rubio said. “And obviously sometimes people don’t react well to adversity, and so they’re saying some things they’ll probably later on regret.”

“But that’s not going to change my campaign,” he said. “I’m not running to beat up on other Republicans. If there are policy differences, we’ll discuss those. But ultimately, I’m running to unify this party and ensure that our next president is nothing like the one we have now.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Christie labeled Mr. Rubio an overly protected “boy in the bubble.” Mr. Bush, without using Mr. Rubio’s name, recently referred to both him and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas as “backbenchers,” according to NBC News.

Mr. Cruz ended up winning Iowa, with businessman Donald Trump finishing second and Mr. Rubio placing third.

Mr. Bush finished in sixth and Mr. Christie finished in 10th, with both candidates banking on a strong performance in New Hampshire to push them forward.

Jeb’s comment is interesting — he endorsed me, he wanted me to be the vice president,” Mr. Rubio said. “He openly told people I should be the vice president in 2012, when [Mitt] Romney was going through that process. The only thing that’s changed between then and now is we happen to both be running for president.”

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