Speed Reads

Super Tuesday 2016

Rubio: A Trump nomination means 'the end of the modern conservative movement'

Marco Rubio brushed off Ted Cruz's call for candidates who have yet to win a state to "prayerfully consider" dropping out of the race, telling NBC News he understands "Ted's spin on this," but he's not going anywhere.

"Once we are in the winner-take-all phase, the map gets a lot friendlier for us," Rubio said. "If a couple people weren't on the ballot, we would have won Virginia tonight, and a couple other states as well." Rubio wondered aloud how Donald Trump could get to 1,237 delegates, and said the party will never "call for us to get behind him. They know the nomination of Donald Trump means the end of the modern conservative movement and the end of the modern Republican Party in a very devastating way."

After calling Trump a "con artist" and saying a vote for him now is a "vote for Hillary Clinton in November," Rubio turned his attention to Cruz. "Ted was supposed to clean up tonight," Rubio said. "His entire campaign was built on…sweeping the Southern states, and tonight was the night he was going to claim victory. That didn't happen." The map "only gets worse" for Cruz moving forward, Rubio continued, and he'll never be able to "unify the Republican Party, and he certainly can't grow it."