Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans play clean up on Trump's foreign policy Top Dem: GOP is terrified of Trump McConnell on Trump: 'I'm not a fan of the daily tweets' MORE credited an unlikely lawmaker when discussing Veterans Affairs issues at Thursday night's GOP debate: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersDrug importation from other countries will save dollars and lives Sanders: Trump a 'pathological liar' Buttigieg endorsed by ex-treasurer in DNC race MORE.
At Thursday's debate, Rubio veered away from personal attacks and focused on a more policy-driven conversation.
The Florida senator is pinning all of his hopes on his home state as he seeks to prove that he is a viable alternative to Trump.
Rubio has insisted that he will not drop out prior to the March 15 contest but has acknowledged that he needs a victory in order to continue to the nomination.
If Rubio fails to win Florida, there will be heightened pressure for him to drop out.
Some recent polls show Donald TrumpDonald TrumpChelsea Clinton attends Muslim solidarity rally in NYC Pentagon chief: 'I don’t have any issues with the press' Kasich: The media is 'an important part of democracy' MORE leading by double digits, while others find a tighter race between the front-runner and Rubio.