Marco Rubio rival uses Trump against the Florida senator

Story highlights

  • Rubio has a tense history with Trump
  • Democratic Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy has sought to use Trump against Rubio

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump is heading to Florida on Wednesday, and the top Democrat vying to take Marco Rubio's Senate seat is asking if the Republican will be joining his party's nominee.

Like many Senate Democratic hopefuls, Patrick Murphy has sought to use Trump as a cudgel against his GOP rival. Murphy is widely expected to win his primary against Rep. Alan Grayson, who has virtually no support among Democratic politicians.
Murphy put out a press release Tuesday criticizing Trump and Rubio for supporting him, asking whether Rubio would go so far as to appear with Trump during his two events in Jacksonville and Daytona Beach.
    "Marco Rubio is determined to steer his party's dangerous presidential nominee into the Oval Office with complete disregard for the millions of innocent people Trump offends along the way," Murphy spokeswoman Galia Slayen said in a statement. "Rubio has already hitched his political ambition to Donald Trump, so a joint campaign rally seems like the logical next step."
    Rubio's campaign did not respond to a request for comment but the Florida senator is not listed by the Trump campaign as joining the presidential candidate for any events on Wednesday.
    Rubio called Trump's comments about a Gold Star family over the weekend "unfortunate" but has not rescinded his endorsement of Trump.
    Rubio this summer changed his mind about leaving the Senate, opting to run for re-election after pressure from his Senate colleagues about the dangers of losing the Republican majority in the upper chamber. He has also endorsed Trump, delivering a video message in favor of the real estate mogul at the Republican National Convention last month.
    But Rubio also has a tense history with Trump, getting into a heated war of words with the then-front-runner that involved disparaging jokes about hand size and bodily fluids. He later apologized for the remarks.