Supporters: Trump won't hurt Rubio

Critics say Rubio hasn't condemned Trump's remarks
Posted at 10:45 PM, Oct 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 06:50:51-04

Senator Marco Rubio and his Democratic opponent Rep. Patrick Murphy sparred in the only debate before the general election.

Murphy immediately criticized Rubio for not distancing himself from GOP Presidential Nominee Donald Trump over his comments about women.

"He's a hard working Senator and I know it," said Missi Lastra.

Lastra and other Republicans gathered to watch the debate at Lee County GOP headquarters.  Lastra has been with Rubio since the beginning, when he ran for president against Trump, then dropped out before running for reelection to the senate.

While Rubio has spoken out against Trump's comments, he hasn't completely distanced himself according to some.  But Lastra, who also supports Trump, doesn't think that will hurt him.

But Southwest Florida Democrats see it differently.  Collier Democratic Party Chair Yudy Barbera says Rubio is taking the easy way out by not completely separating himself from Trump.

"He has tried to back himself away but at the same time keep himself in, because he doesn't want lose the voters Donald Trump has following him."

Rubio to pledged to serve a full six years if re-elected, Lastra believes he'll fulfill that promise, regardless of whose president.

"He has never sided with Trump, for the sake of the party, or for the sake of popularity, he has always said exactly what he thinks whether he agrees or disagrees with Trump."

Local Democrats say Trump's presence on the ticket could give their party a better shot at winning down ballot races.