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.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.