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Rubio Hits Cruz: "There’s A Difference Between Principle And Calculation"

"It’s what he says in New York to a fundraiser and then what he says in a speech in Iowa."

Posted on December 23, 2015, at 1:14 p.m. ET

Brian Snyder / Reuters

Marco Rubio on Wednesday criticized his opponent Ted Cruz for portraying himself as the only "principled conservative" in the Republican presidential race, arguing that Cruz' positions are instead based on political calculation.

"It's not personal," Rubio told New Hampshire radio host Jack Heath. "Look, I think what it is is, obviously, there's a difference between principle and calculation. And I think Ted has shown throughout his career that he's been calculating in his position on some issues. Immigration is one of them, but it's not just immigration. It's national security."

"It's what he says in New York to a fundraiser and then what he says in a speech in Iowa," Rubio said, alluding to Cruz telling donors at New York fundraiser in December that he would not make opposing gay marriage a "top-three priority."

"It's, you know, not voting to fund the military and then talking about bombing ISIS and making the sands glow. It's about weakening our intelligence program and then talking tough on ISIS," Rubio continued. "So there are differences on the issues and then there's also this notion that he's portrayed himself as the only principled conservative in the race when in fact his position on issues like trade and immigration and others have been tempered by the political winds.

"So we'll have a discussion about that because that's an important difference especially if you're gonna attack others and hold yourself up as the only principled conservative in the race."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.