If drawing the attention of the Democratic front-runner is a sign of strength, then Sen. Marco Rubio is rising in stature.
Hillary Rodham Clinton hit the Florida Republican's stance on abortion Monday at an event in New Hampshire, an outlook he'd voiced during last week's Republican presidential debate. Clinton went so far as to compare Rubio's comments to those Donald Trump made about women before, during and after the debate — comments she called "offensive" and "outrageous."
"But what Marco Rubio said has as much of an impact in terms of where the Republican Party is today as anybody else on that stage, and it is deeply troubling," Clinton said Monday in New Hampshire.
During the debate, Rubio said he'd never advocated for any kind of exceptions to abortion bans, although that statement needed to be clarified later.
Rubio signed on as a co-sponsor last Congress (as noticed by The Huffington Post) and in this one to legislation that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, with a few exceptions, like in instances of incest and rape and to save the life of the mother.
On NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Rubio clarified by saying he'd support any bill that reduced the number of abortions and that he does not require that "it must have or not have exceptions."
The senator hit back at Clinton Monday afternoon, saying in a statement: "Hillary Clinton supports abortion even at the stage when an unborn child can feel pain; she has defended partial birth abortions as a 'fundamental right;' she opposes requiring parents to be notified that their minor daughter is having an abortion; she supports funding Planned Parenthood even after they have been exposed for their role in selling the organs of unborn children; and she supports using taxpayer money to pay for abortions overseas. Hillary Clinton holds radical views on abortion that we look forward to exposing in the months to come."
His campaign later sent out a quote by Andrea Mitchell, who said on NBC's "Nightly News" that Clinton targeted Rubio Monday because she sees him "as a real political threat."
Related: Yielding Time in the Senate on the Presidential Trail Can Marco Rubio Save the GOP in 2016 See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call's new video site. Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.