Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP casts Sanders as 2020 boogeyman Agencies play catch-up over security concerns with TikTok Sanders: 'Unfair to simply say everything is bad' in Cuba under Castro MORE (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that the fact that three of the four top Republican presidential candidates are minorities shows the party’s diversity and strength.


The remark came during an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" when host George Stephanopoulos brought up the similarities between Rubio and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz targets California governor over housing 'prescriptions' This week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Democrats: It's Trump's world, and we're just living in it MORE (R-Texas).

Stephanopoulos noted that the two rivals for the GOP presidential nomination are both 44 years old, of Cuban descent, are in their first terms in the Senate, and have had Tea Party support.

"I like that. Ted is a friend of mine," Rubio said.

"I think it's interesting that the four top candidates in that field, three of them, of the four, come from minority backgrounds, which speaks a lot to the diversity of the Republican Party and the strength of our party," added Rubio, whose parents immigrated from Cuba.

Another top Republican presidential candidate is Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who is African-American. Carson is neck and neck in polls with Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE.

Republicans have sought in recent years to broaden their appeal among minorities, a major focus of the "autopsy report" released by the party following its second loss to Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases The South Carolina Democratic primary will be decided by black women Do Trump and Sanders hate America? MORE in 2012.

The issue has roiled Republicans this year, with Trump, who has been atop the polls since early summer, focusing largely on Hispanics illegally immigrating across the southern border into the U.S.