Rubio avoids saying what’s next if he loses Florida
© Greg Nash
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Republican presidential candidate Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioCongress faces growing health care crisis in Puerto Rico The Hill's 12:30 Report Colbert mocks Trump for sipping water during speech on Asia trip MORE on Saturday declined to say whether he will drop out of the race if he loses his home state primary in Florida.
"Well, I've never based my campaign on one state, but I can tell you this, we will win the state of Florida," Rubio said at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Addressing Rubio, CNN correspondent Dana Bash said, "In a week and a half, as you well know, is the Florida primary. Governor John Kasich said that if he doesn't win his home state of Ohio, he'll drop out. What will you do if you don't win Florida?"
"I have experience at beating people who don't say who they truly are," Rubio said. "I have experience at beating people who portray themselves as being one thing but are actually something else."
Rubio is facing an uphill climb in the Sunshine State. Trump leads the state with 45 percent support, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls. Rubio trails way behind with 26 percent. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTexas Republicans slam White House over disaster relief request Dem rep: Trump disaster aid request is 'how you let America down again' Moore endorsements disappear from campaign website MORE follows in third place with 12 percent.
Rubio was lauded by the CPAC crowd, which was so large for his lunchtime speech Saturday that people were spilling out of the main ballroom at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. 
Unable to find seats, hundreds lined the walls of the room, and on multiple occasions during Rubio's speech the entire audience was on its feet cheering and chanting, "Marco! Marco! Marco!"
Mentions of Trump, who withdrew from CPAC at the last minute, received a cold reception on Saturday from the conservative activists.
Every reference to the businessman — by name or indirectly — instigated loud and extended booing and jeering.
Rubio, who is fighting the flu, gave a variation of his stump speech, but in the question-and-answer session afterward, Bash took Rubio into less comfortable territory when she asked him how he explains to his children the unsavory subjects being discussed on the campaign trail. 
One topic Bash cited was the discussion of the size of Trump's hands — a line of attack that Rubio was responsible for bringing into the national discourse. 
"How do you feel as a father and a presidential candidate about how low things have gone?" Bash asked.
Rubio was cheered loudly for his reply.
"I don't want us to have a president that we constantly have to be explaining to our kids, 'Look, I know that's what the president did, but you shouldn't do that.’ I don't want that,” Rubio said. 
"I'll leave that alone," Bash replied.