Marco Rubio Defends Caving to Trump, Despite 'Wildly Offensive' Comments

Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio defended his decision to support Donald Trump after a contentious primary campaign by insisting that the presumptive nominee was not a white nationalist, but admitted that racists had been emboldened by the White House bid.

During an interview that aired on Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper noted that Trump was being supported by “some scary dudes” like white nationalists and other “hate groups.”

“It’s offensive,” Rubio agreed. “And not just against me, but the fact that elements like that are still involved in American politics. And traditionally a candidate would disavow that and say, ‘I want nothing to do with it, I don’t want them as part of my campaign.'”

“He didn’t,” Tapper pointed out.

“And I didn’t like that,” Rubio insisted. “And I said that at the time. And you know, it is what it is. Obviously, I don’t believe Donald Trump is a white nationalist. I don’t believe that those are his views.”

As for Trump’s suggestion that Mexicans were “rapists,” Rubio admitted that it was an “offensive comment.”

“And by the way, highly inaccurate,” Rubio observed. “But here’s the trap you’re in. If you respond to it, [Trump] is getting what he wants. That’s why he’s sometime saying this, to dominate the [news] cycle. I don’t give him credit for what he said, but I give him credit for the way that he understands this stuff.”

“Media is a business and it’s driven by ratings, and based on your ratings is what you can charge your advertisers. And so, this content is interesting content. It’s different. And it’s over the top. And it draws eyeballs and ears to hear what people are saying and see it. Donald understood that.”

Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast May 29, 2016.

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