The Slatest

Marco Rubio Apologized to Trump for Implying he Had a Small Penis

Sen. Marco Rubio and Donald Trump participate in a debate sponsored by Fox News on March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. 

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Marco Rubio said in an interview that mocking the size of Donald Trump’s hands was one of the mistakes of his campaign and he personally apologized to the real estate mogul for the dig. “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.”

Rubio revealed the apology after CNN’s Jake Tapper asked the senator from Florida about the “unprecedented moment in American politics when Donald Trump went onstage and assured the American people there was no problem regardless of the size of his hands.” In case anyone had any doubt about what Tapper was referring to, the CNN journalist helpfully pointed to his own genital area.

“I didn’t like what it reflected on me,” Rubio said. “It embarrassed my family. It’s not who I am.” The senator did attempt a tepid defense of his words though, saying they were uttered at a moment of desperation when none of the attacks on Trump seemed to be sticking. “Nothing, at this point, nothing is working. I mean, this guy is out there every day mocking people, saying horrible things about people, but if you respond to him somehow you’re hitting below the belt? And that was my sense of it at the time” Rubio said.

Although Rubio had previously warned that a Trump nomination would “fracture the Republican Party” he said earlier this week that his main goal is making sure Hillary Clinton doesn’t win the election. “I want to be helpful,” he said. “I don’t want to be harmful, because I don’t want Hillary Clinton to be president.”