Donald Trump has gotten used to his frontrunner status after more than 100 days at the top of the polls, so now the GOP candidate is lashing out at others who are threatening his position.
First, it was former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who edged Trump out from the top spot in Iowa and by a slim margin in a national poll. Trump mocked Carson for being “low energy,” an insult he had previously reserved for the presumed establishment favorite, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Now, after a strong showing at the third Republican CNBC debate, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio appears to be Trump’s new target. A tweet on Sunday assailed Rubio’s position on immigration, which Trump has made the cornerstone of his campaign:
As he usually does after debates, Trump cited his dominance in un-scientific online polls to bolster claims that he won the debate. But he had an explanation Monday for why some pundits were lauding Rubio: perhaps it was the young politician’s appearance.
The two didn’t spar much openly during the debate in Boulder, Colo. The moderators tried to incite controversy by calling attention to an immigration policy paper that referred to Rubio as “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator,” but Trump said that wasn’t his view and Rubio pivoted to attack the question rather than Trump.
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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com