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“It’s a catch-22,” Rubio said Sunday on ABC’s "This Week." "But if you're attacked, I think it's important to respond."
Rubio said responding to those attacks hurt him a week ago during the last debate before the New Hampshire primary. Rubio repeated the same line four times in response to an attack from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, leading to widespread criticism ahead of the primary.
Rubio has since said that he was trying to avoid Republican-on-Republican attacks and instead wanted to refocus the conversation on President Obama.
“I’ve said that before -- I always tried to avoid that engagement,” Rubio said Sunday. "It got me in trouble a week ago."
Despite that goal, Rubio hit Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over Saturday’s debate in South Carolina, claiming he is “saying things that aren’t true habitually” on the campaign trail.
“He hasn't told the truth about my position on Planned Parenthood, on marriage. He didn't tell the truth about his previous stance on immigration,” Rubio said. “So these things have to be clarified and -- and they need to be addressed.”