Marco Rubio in Nevada: 'I'm anti-prostitution'

Story highlights

  • The conservative senator said he disagrees with allowing prostitution in part because of the toll it takes
  • The short conversation with reporters also touched on Rubio's contentious battle with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

Washington (CNN)Campaigning in Nevada, Sen. Marco Rubio says he wishes the state would make prostitution illegal -- but he's not for the federal government doing so.

"I'm anti-prostitution," the Florida Republican told reporters on Monday when asked about his upcoming visit to Elko, Nevada, where prostitution is legal.
"We won't be visiting them," Rubio said of the brothels.
    But as voters in the only state that allows prostitution head into Tuesday's GOP caucuses, Rubio did not say he would advocate making prostitution illegal nationwide.
    "I want to shrink the government, not grow it. Suffice it to say, I wish Nevada would make it illegal, but that's their decision to make," Rubio said. "I don't agree with it. ... But I'm not calling for it to be a federal offense."
    The short gaggle with reporters in Nevada also touched on Rubio's contentious battle with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. The two have repeatedly clashed about honesty on the trail as they vie to be the candidate to take on front-runner Donald Trump.
    Rubio responded to the Cruz campaign circulating a video that misquoted Rubio to make it seem like he was disparaging the Bible, calling it the latest example of smear tactics.
    "It's part of a pattern," Rubio said. "You know if this just happens once, you look at it and say, 'All right, these are the things that happen in a campaign.' It's every day there's something new. Perhaps that was the most offensive one because they basically made it up."
    Cruz's spokesman, Rick Tyler, apologized for circulating the video on Facebook on Monday, and Rubio accepted the apology.
    But he said someone should be held responsible.
    "This is a pattern now, and I think we're now at a point where we start asking about accountability," Rubio said. "Who's going to be held accountable for making up this video?"