Rubio got asked about those personal attacks, because apparently presidential candidates who have not starred in reality TV series are held to some higher standard than those who have.
Trump has continued to pile up delegates during the long, and so far unsuccessful, effort to topple him.
After Super Tuesday, Mr Trump has won in 10 states and leads the GOP field with 329 delegates. Kasich said Thursday: “I will win OH”.
It was one of the lighter moments in a contentious debate, and on Friday, Cruz’s campaign sought to capitalize – and troll Trump a bit – by offering a yoga mat in its web store.
Rubio in recent days on the campaign trail ramped up his teasing of the brash billionaire, including reviving a decades-old old insult, mocking Trump for having relatively slight hands.
Rubio defended making “a couple of jokes” at Trump’s expense because, Rubio said, Trump has been “personally offending not just everyone in the race but women and minorities and the disabled”. “I know it’s hard”.
“Why did Mitt Romney beg me for my endorsement four years ago?”
“Have you ever heard of Trump steaks?” The fact the Romney chose not to endorse Cruz, Rubio or Kasich, led to speculation that Romney hoped to set the stage for him to be a King maker in a brokered convention, or be crowned himself.
When the moderator nudged in with a policy question, Rubio said: “Let’s see if he answers it”. Trump, in turn, said he would support whoever wins, though he seemed to find it inconceivable that it might not be him. Trump started calling Rubio “Little Marco” during the debate, and Rubio hit back by calling Trump “Big Donald”.
“They want to stay here desperately, they’re not able to stay here”. Cruz told Trump at one point: “Yelling and cursing at somebody doesn’t make you a tough guy”.
This is not the first time that Donald Trump’s hands have become a topic of discussion.
Trump says he believes in free trade – but only if it’s beneficial to the country.
As soon as he was finished, Senator John McCain, 79, the party’s standard-bearer in 2008, endorsed Mr Romney’s jeremiad and denounced Mr Trump as a candidate who was ignorant of foreign policy and has made “dangerous” pronouncements on national security.
“Well, look, he was a failed candidate”, Trump responded. All eyes were on Kelly as she faced Trump again for the first time since their clash at the first GOP debate last summer.