© Greg Nash
Marco RubioMarco RubioSenators introduce new Iran sanctions Senate intel panel has not seen Nunes surveillance documents: lawmakers With no emerging leaders, no clear message, Democrats flounder MORE on Wednesday slammed Republican presidential rivals Donald TrumpDonald TrumpLocal GOP credits Trump for 0K haul at Mar-A-Lago fundraiser Don’t blame Trump for healthcare defeat — blame Louie Gohmert Trump handed £300B NATO 'invoice' to German chancellor: report MORE and Ted CruzTed CruzHow 'Big Pharma' stifles pharmaceutical innovation AIPAC must reach out to President Trump Under pressure, Dems hold back Gorsuch support MORE for fighting each other instead of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"These kinds [of] theatrics by Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are an entertaining sideshow, but they have nothing to do with defeating Hillary Clinton," Rubio said in a statement.
"I'm going to stay focused on uniting the Republican party so we can defeat Hillary Clinton and turn the page on eight years of liberal failure," Rubio added.
The Florida senator was calling out Trump and Cruz, who are favorites to win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, for duking it out over Trump's plan to skip the GOP debate this week.
Cruz has argued Trump is afraid of his record and challenged him to a one-on-one debate after the real estate tycoon's campaign said he plans to headline a competing event Thursday night.
Trump has claimed unfair treatment from Fox News, which is hosting the debate, and has gone after star host Megyn Kelly — a co-moderator for the debate — as a "lightweight."
"We don't have time for these kinds of distractions," Rubio said Wednesday morning, noting that "people are right to be angry" with the Obama administration and want a GOP president.
Rubio acknowledged that "these debates are so important" but bashed Trump and Cruz for knocking each other instead of Clinton.