Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) scored his most impressive debate performance yet on Thursday night by relentlessly pursuing Donald Trump. He was still in attack mode Friday morning, calling Trump "a con artist" twice on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Citing Trump's wins in early state primaries and his longstanding lead in the polls for the GOP presidential nomination, Rubio said the Republican Party was on the verge of being hijacked by someone who doesn't share the core beliefs of its conservative base.
"If this pattern continues the conservative movement in the Republican Party will be taken over by a con artist portraying himself as the fighter of the ordinary person fighting for the working man," Rubio said. "But he spent years sticking it to the working people."
Trump fired plenty of rhetorical ammunition at Rubio on Thursday night, calling him a "choke artist" and mocking his robotic repetition of talking points at the previous GOP debate. On Friday, Rubio highlighted the fortune that Trump inherited and accused him of treating workers shabbily during his career as a real estate tycoon.
"Unlike Donald, I didn't inherit hundreds of millions," Rubio said. "He calls me a choker. He's a con artist. He spent 40 years sticking it to the people he claims to be fighting for."
Trump has maintained his frontrunner status for months as other Republicans have attacked each other instead of setting their sights on their billionaire competitor. Although the real estate mogul has built his campaign around vicious anti-immigrant rhetoric and a populist economic pitch, his own labor record is spotty.
Trump Tower was built by Underpaid undocumented workers, and was sued for cheating workers out of wages on the project. At a previous GOP debate in November he said that American wages are "too high," only to deny having said so in the following days.
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.
Zach Carter is a co-host of the HuffPost Politics podcast "So, That Happened." Subscribe here or listen to the latest episode below: