Third-place "winner" of the GOP Iowa caucuses, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, took a victory lap on "Good Morning America" Tuesday morning, declaring that the people of Iowa have confirmed what the rest of the country quickly needs to learn -- that he's the only viable Republican candidate in the current field of potential nominees.
He pointed out that the majority of voters who made up their minds in "the last few days" switched their votes to him, derailing the Trump campaign's narrative that his failure to appear at last Thursday's presidential debate did little to hurt their candidate.
"I think people realize on the Republican side that we cannot afford -- this country cannot afford -- to lose this election, and that I give the party the best chance, not just to unify the conservative movement, but to grow it," he said.
"To take our message to people that don’t vote Republican now, grow our party, grow our movement, and to beat Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders."
Rubio added that the hopeful who actual won, fellow Senator Ted Cruz, is essentially unelectable, no matter how much he casts himself as the savior of core conservative values.
"Ted’s whole campaign is built on this notion that he’s the only one that’s a pure conservative, that everyone else is a RINO or a sellout," he said. "It’s just not accurate -- his record is one of calculation."
As for the "New York values" that Cruz denigrated in recent appearances, Rubio noted that "he criticizes New York values, but he’s raised millions of dollars from New York City."