Rubio hits Trump as sounding ‘a lot like Clinton’

Jim Lynch
The Detroit News

Shelby Township — Less than 24 hours after he won one state in the 11 Super Tuesday GOP presidential contests, Marco Rubio still projected confidence that his prospects will improve.

On Super Tuesday, Trump claimed victory in seven of the 11 states. Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz solidified his second-place status by taking three states, while Rubio secured Minnesota.

“We think our best days in this campaign lie ahead,” Rubio said in a Detroit News interview. “Super Tuesday was not supposed to be the best day of this campaign — we knew that. We wanted to do well enough to get to the states we’re in now. Now the map starts getting friendly for us.”

Speaking on a small stage underneath a banner reading “A New American Century,” he worked the room for 30 minutes, drawing continuous applause for the familiar campaign themes.

On Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton: “The Democrats are going to nominate someone who’s under FBI investigation. That’s usually a bad sign.”

On GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump: “To the extent that we know where he stands on the issues, he sounds a lot like Hillary Clinton. ... We cannot elect someone who is carrying out a con job.”

On his first day in office, if elected president: “I will immediately repeal every one of Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive orders.” And, later: “I will cancel Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.”

A crowd of several hundred welcomed Rubio, armed with stubborn hope.

Abby Hirst was Wednesday’s best example. The 17-year-old student won’t be old enough to vote in Michigan’s primary since her birthday isn’t until April. But she was confident she would cast her first vote in the general election for Rubio.

“I think he is the most consistent of the candidates,” she said. “I think a lot of people my age crave consistency.”

“Next week Michigan, all of you, all of us, will go to the polls and let the nation know who we think should be our next commander in chief,” he said. “I hope you’ll join me in (supporting) Marco Rubio.”

Sterling Heights residents Julia and Ron Michals typically work in political campaigns. In 2016, they’re sitting out the work part, but Rubio brought them out Wednesday as supporters.

“I think he’s the best candidate for president and I think he can beat Hillary (Clinton),” said Julia Michals, 78.

Her husband has liked what he heard from Rubio. “He just comes across to me as being sincere, I guess,” Ron Michals said.

But he added a note of disappointment — that Rubio has begun to mimic the nasty, personal rhetoric common in the Trump campaign.

“I think he sees it working for Trump and thinks it might be useful to do it himself,” Michals said.

jlynch@detroitnews.com

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