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In Exclusive CNN Interview, Rubio Discusses New Stance on Trump, Says He Apologized for 'Small Hands' Comment


"I don't think he should change if he's been successful."

HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 25: Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reacts to a point by Donald Trump during the Republican presidential debate at the Moores School of Music at the University of Houston on February 25, 2016 in Houston, Texas. The debate is the last before the March 1 Super Tuesday primaries. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo-Pool/Getty Images)

Following his comments earlier this week that he’s willing to be “helpful” to presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday to reflect on his own presidential campaign and his recent change in tone.

The former Republican presidential candidate, who finally said he would support Trump in November, also confessed a series of blunders he believe ultimately cost him the race.

Republican presidential candidates, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and businessman Donald Trump argue during a Republican presidential primary debate at Fox Theatre, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

In what was perhaps the most notable admission, Rubio told host Jake Tapper that he apologized privately to Trump backstage before a Republican debate for remarks he’d made mocking the candidate’s appearance, and namely, his “small hands.”

"I actually told Donald — one of the debates, I forget which one — I apologized to him for that," Rubio said. "I said, 'You know, I'm sorry that I said that. It's not who I am and I shouldn't have done it.' I didn't say it in front of the cameras, I didn't want any political benefit."

After this, Rubio went even further, telling Tapper that he would be willing to speak on Trump's behalf at the July convention, and voicing his newfound respect for the man he formerly condemned as a con artist.

In the in-depth interview, Rubio lauded Trump as "the ultimate change agent,” adding that he may be able to develop "a more comprehensive approach" on some policy questions.

The Florida senator noted that, though he likely wouldn’t employ the same strategies if he were in Trump’s position, the candidate clearly knows what it takes to achieve success in this race.

"I don't think he should change if he's been successful," Rubio said when pressed about Trump’s references to previously debunked scandals of the 1990s in his attacks on Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton.

"I may not like that direction, but at this point, he won and this is the direction that he won on,” he said.

Ahead of the CNN interview that aired Sunday, the Democratic Party posted a video to YouTube targeting Rubio's reversal on Trump.

Rubio got into multiple arguments on Twitter Friday with people who couldn’t accept his modified position. And though he asserted that he tried his hardest to stop Trump from becoming the nominee, he contended that at this point, the GOP’s biggest threat is Clinton, not Trump.


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