Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads What the gun safety debate says about Washington Trump moves forward with F-16 sale to Taiwan opposed by China MORE came out swinging against Donald TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE, defending his attacks on the real estate mogul in the past week.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If there has been any candidate deserved to be attacked [in this] way, it's Donald Trump for the way he has treated people in the campaign,” the Florida senator said of Trump at Thursday night's debate in Detroit.

“He has done so to people sitting on the stage today. He has done so with people disabled. He has done it with every candidate in this race.”

Rubio is referring to a series of insults in the past week about the size of Trump’s hands, about his tan and about calling him a “con artist.”

Rubio then shifted to say he’d much rather debate policy.

“I hope that's what we will have here tonight. Let's have a policy debate.”

Trump smirked and facetiously took back his recent insults about Rubio. 

“I also happen to call him a lightweight,” Trump rebutted Rubio. “I would like to take that back. He’s really not that much of a lightweight.”

“He hit [the size of] my hands. No one’s ever hit my hands. I’ve never heard that."