Rubio hits Trump on Israel – Eliza Collins/POLITICO
In a rare frontal assault on Donald Trump, Marco Rubio on Wednesday attacked the GOP front-runner by name for his statements on Israel.
“The front-runner in this race, Donald Trump, has said he’s not going to take sides on Israel versus the Palestinians because he wants to be an honest broker,” the Florida senator said during a rally in Houston. “Well, there is no such thing as an honest broker in that. Because the Palestinian Authority, which has strong links to terror, they teach little kids that it’s a glorious thing to kill Jews.”
Rubio also questioned Trump’s lack of fluency on foreign policy in general.
“You can’t just say, the way some people in this race have said — you’ll probably know what I’m talking about in a moment — you can’t just say, ‘Well, when I get there I’ll hire the smartest people and they’re going to tell me what to do,'” he said in another clear reference to Trump. “The smartest people are already there. They’re already telling the president what he should be doing. He’s ignoring it. You deserve to know exactly what the next commander-in-chief is going to do.”
At a recent MSNBC town hall in Charleston, South Carolina, Trump said that as president, he would remain “neutral” between Israelis and Palestinians in order to get the best possible deal on Middle East peace.
“If I win, I don’t want to be in a position where I’m saying to you [my choice] and the other side now says, ‘We don’t want Trump involved,'” he said. “Let me be sort of a neutral guy.”
“You understand,” Trump went on, “a lot of people have gone down in flames trying to make that deal. So I don’t want to say whose fault it is — I don’t think that helps.”
“That’s probably the toughest deal in the world right now to make,” Trump added.
Rubio’s rivals have criticized him for taking it easy on Trump, but time is running out for the Florida senator to change his standing in the race ahead of the “Super Tuesday” contests on March 1, where the real estate showman leads all comers in nearly every poll.