- Marco Rubio is taking a much more aggressive tone toward GOP presidential rival Donald Trump
- But it may be too late, critics contend
(CNN)In Iowa, Marco Rubio praised Donald Trump for "tapping into a real frustration" among the electorate. In New Hampshire, Rubio pointedly refused to whack Trump, saying he wanted to "largely" talk about his own ideas. And on his way to South Carolina, Rubio said, "I don't want to get personal" when talking about Trump.
Rubio alluded to as much when talking to reporters in between campaign events on Tuesday, while acknowledging he was "caught off guard" by the rise of Trump.
"I think it's an effective line of attack," Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado and a leading Rubio surrogate, said of focusing on Trump's business dealings. "That's why you're starting to see more people show at rallies, that's why you're starting to see networks covering him live. They weren't before."