The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App

Marco Rubio: "Getting harder every day" to back Trump if he's the nominee

Last Updated Mar 12, 2016 9:25 PM EST

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio decried Donald Trump's baiting and "offensive" rhetoric Saturday morning, following an eruption of violence at an event for the GOP front-runner in Chicago the previous night.

"I think we also have to look at the rhetoric coming from the front-runner in the presidential campaign," Rubio told reporters in Largo, Florida. "This is a man who, in rallies, has told his supporters to basically beat up the people who are in the crowd and he will pay their legal fees. Someone who has basically encouraged people in the audience to rough up anyone who stands up and says something he doesn't like."

"Leadership has never been about taking people's anger and using it to get them to vote for you. If it is, it's a dangerous style of leadership. Leadership is about acknowledging people's anger, but as a leader trying to address why it is they're angry, instead of manipulating their anger so that they become your voter, your donor and your supporter," he continued. "So I think Donald Trump needs to ask when is he going to start condemning this stuff, because instead all he's saying is 'these are really bad dudes at my events."

When asked if he would still back the eventual Republican nominee if it was Donald Trump, Rubio responded: "I don't know."

"I still at this moment continue and intend to support the Republican nominee, but, getting harder every day," he said. An email sent out by his campaign later Saturday referred to the scenes from the cancelled Chicago rally as something "we would see in a third-world country."

Trump has yet to denounce the violence, instead blaming protesting "thugs" for having "totally energized America" in a tweet early Saturday.

During a campaign event in Dayton, Ohio, Trump also put the responsibility on Bernie Sanders supporters, who he says "taunted" and "harassed" his own "nice" pro-Trump rally attendees.

"They were taunted, they were harassed by these other people," he said. "These other people, by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend."