Rubio hits Trump, Cruz over debate 'theatrics'
© Greg Nash
Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election US intelligence says Russia seeking to 'denigrate' Biden MORE on Wednesday slammed Republican presidential rivals Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOn The Trail: Pence's knives come out Pat Fallon wins GOP nomination in race to succeed DNI Ratcliffe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline 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
 
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"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.