Rubio Backers Say Attacking Trump Backfired

Supporters in Senate worried

Taking on the top dog in the race to be the GOP nominee may have helped killed Marco Rubio's campaign. That is what sources are telling CNN after Rubio's flop in Tuesday's primaries.

A growing number of Rubio supporters told CNN privately and publicly that Rubio made a strategic blunder by getting into a personal mud-slinging contest with the bombastic billionaire, arguing that he should not have raised questions about Trump's character -- on everything from criticizing the size of his hands to calling him a "con artist." They argued it only seemed to backfire and make the high-minded and substantive Rubio look petty and unpresidential, fearing it could now be fatal to his presidential aspirations.

More media outlets are now reporting that Rubio is being pressured to drop out of the race by donors. As TruthRevolt reported earlier today, CNN had made the initial report earlier in the week, and CBS and Fox have joined the chorus.

While Rubio's campaign insists their man is not dropping out despite the pressure, backers are being open in their concern:

"I don't think he needed to get down, deep and dirty," said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Rubio supporter. "I think he knows that was a mistake. It was against his personality, and I think that hurt him a little bit."

Added Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada, another Rubio backer: "I think the writing is on the wall: aggressively going after a candidate, or a single candidate in this race, probably wasn't as helpful as he wanted it to be."

"He always looked young," said one senior GOP senator. "But that time, he acted young."

Rubio has gone from being the candidate many thought would be the one to take on Donald Trump to a candidate that failed to win a single delegate on Tuesday.

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