Marco Rubio said he's sorry for implying Donald Trump has a small penis.
Speaking to CNN's Jake Tapper in a piece that aired Sunday, the Florida senator said he had apologized to Trump for the remark made in February.
Rubio said he regretted taking the "below the belt" jab at the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
"I apologized to him for that," Rubio explained. "I said, 'I'm sorry that I said that. It's not who I am and I shouldn't have done it."
The apology was done behind the cameras during one of the subsequent debates, Rubio said, because he didn't want "any political benefit" from the apology.
The size of Trump's penis became an actual, legitimate, real life, no-foolin' issue in the campaign in February when Rubio made light of what he said were Trump's small hands.
"And you know what they say about men with small hands," Rubio told rowdy supporters, pausing for effect as the crowd laughed. "You can't trust him."
In the next presidential debate, Trump took some time at the podium to address the size of his hands and his "something else."
Rubio told Tapper that he didn't like how the joke reflected on his own character.
"It embarrassed my family. It's not who I am," Rubio said. "What I didn't realize was it isn't who I am and if you're not being who you are it doesn't come across well."
Rubio said the comment came at a moment in the election where it was increasingly evident that none of the attacks or criticisms levied at Trump were working.
"This guy is out there every day mocking people, saying horrible things about people, but if you respond to him somehow you are hitting below the belt?" he said. "And he can do that because of whatever reason, he can do that. But I couldn't do that.
"It isn't who I am, it isn't what I do, and by doing that I ended up hurting myself, not him."
You can watch the CNN interview here:
Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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