Rubio: I apologized to Trump for ‘manhood’ slur

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) walks behind rival candidate Marco Rubio (R). © Jim Young
Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has admitted he apologized privately to rival Donald Trump for his infamous “small hands” jibe during the race to be the party’s presidential nominee.

Earlier this year the Florida senator, who subsequently withdrew from the race for the White House in March, launched a personal attack on the billionaire, mocking his use of spray tan.

He told an audience at a campaign rally in Virginia: “Donald is not going to make America great again, he is going to make America orange.”

He then went on to reference the size of his hands, clearly alluding to a different part of Trump’s anatomy.

“You know what they say about men with small hands...you can’t trust them,” said Rubio, to howls of approval from his supporters.

Rubio was criticized for the remarks in the aftermath but insisted at the time that Trump had been guilty of far worse and more frequent personal attacks against rivals, their families and journalists alike.

One such example being a rather unflattering tweet about the wife of another former Republican rival, Ted Cruz.

Rubio has confirmed, however that he subsequently apologized to Trump for his comments, admitting his regret for what he said.

“I apologized to him for that. I said ‘I’m sorry I said that, it’s not who I am and I shouldn’t have done it’,” he told CNN. “I didn’t say it in front of the cameras, I didn’t want any political benefit.”

“I didn’t like what it reflected on me, it embarrassed my family,” Rubio added.

Rubio did, however, suggest there were double standards at play when it came to personal attacks on the campaign trail.

“This guy [Trump] is out there every day mocking people, saying horrible things about people, but if you respond to him somehow you are hitting below the belt?,” Rubio said.

“Yet I ended up hurting myself, not him.”