“You’re the only person on this stage that’s ever been fined for hiring people to work on your project illegally,” Rubio told Trump as he came out swinging at CNN’s Republican presidential debate Thursday night in Houston.
The two duked it out in a tense Texas showdown as Trump argued he is the only one on stage with hiring experience.
Rubio later mocked Trump for having a “fake school,” referring to lawsuits aimed at Trump University alleging fraud and deception.
Trump hit back: “Here’s a guy that buys a house for a $179,000 — he sells it to a lobbyist who’s probably here for 380,000.”
“If he hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan,” Rubio said.
The tough talk comes as Trump heads into the March 1 Super Tuesday contests with remarkable momentum, after consecutive victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
Ted Cruz also went on the offensive, saying Trump had previously donated to Democrats who had worked on the so-called Gang of Eight immigration reform bill.
A Monmouth University poll released Thursday put Cruz 15 points ahead of Trump in Texas.