WASHINGTON -- Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump predicted Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio's political career is on the line if he doesn't win his home state's primary contest next Tuesday.
The businessman also made it pretty clear he's not interested in leading a ticket to the polls in November with a man he calls "Little Marco" under those circumstances.
"If he runs and loses, I think he will never be able to do anything very big politically in Florida. I certainly don't think that he would be considered by anybody as a vice president, and I don't think he could ever run for governor or whatever he might want to run for in the future," Trump said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday.
Trump went further during a subsequent interview on Fox News, saying, "If he goes forward and loses, it's the end of his career."
Trump leads Rubio in Florida 41 percent to 26 percent, according to the HuffPost Pollster average of polls. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) trails with 17 percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich is last with 9 percent.
Trump stopped short of calling for Rubio to drop out of the race before the Sunshine State's primary, but declared the would-be GOP establishment favorite is doomed if he fails in the state where he made his name.
"He's really got a decision to make," Trump said. "I just don't want to be involved in his decision."
Pressed by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on whether Rubio could help Trump attract Hispanic voters and those aligned with the Republican establishment, however, Trump replied, "Sure, sure, and he's got a lot of talent."
Rubio's poor performances in the primary races to date, plus the accumulation of delegates by Trump and Cruz, are fueling speculation that the Florida senator may retreat before his home state votes. CBS News reported Wednesday morning that Rubio "insiders" are weighing whether to pull out before Tuesday.
Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.