- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday warned Minnesotans about once again electing a “tough-talking celebrity” in the mold of former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who had previously gained notoriety as a professional wrestler.

“By the way, if any state in the country has experience with electing someone who runs on the promise of being some great celebrity, this tough-talking celebrity, well how did that work out with Jesse Ventura?” Mr. Rubio said at a campaign rally in the state.

“Jesse Ventura was an embarrassment,” Mr. Rubio said. “No, no — let me re-phrase that: Jesse Ventura is an embarrassment, but Donald Trump will be an embarrassment to America, will be an embarrassment to anyone who supported him. What he will do to our foreign policy will embarrass everyone in this room.

“Anyone who’s supporting him now — this can’t happen, and if any state knows that, it’s Minnesota,” Mr. Rubio said.

Mr. Rubio is competing against Mr. Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner, and other Republican rivals in Minnesota and nearly a dozen other states holding their presidential nominating contests Tuesday.

A poll on Minnesota released in late January by the Star Tribune actually gave Mr. Rubio a slight edge in the state over Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mr. Trump.

“What you have here is a world-class con artist and a sham who is preying on people’s fears and people’s anger to get their votes, except the consequences are not a sham degree,” said Mr. Rubio, who had previously accused the businessman’s “Trump University” of targeting people who were hurting. “The consequences are the presidency of the United States, the future of the conservative movement, the identity of the party of Lincoln and of Reagan, and ultimately the future of America.”

“Anyone who votes for Donald Trump today in these caucuses is voting for Hillary Clinton in November,” Mr. Rubio said.

Mr. Rubio said he would take his campaign to every state in the country if that’s what it would take to stop the billionaire businessman.

“I have a message for Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump, Donald,” he said, adding that maybe he should be called “Con-ald” Trump.

“I will campaign in all 50 states. I will get in my pickup truck and drive around this country if I have to,” he said.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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