At a campaign town hall event at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, Sen. Marco Rubio used a question on abortion from a reporter to focus on Hillary Clinton, claiming she is the one with "radical" positions.
Perhaps trying to show Rubio is out of step with voters on abortion, he was asked whether a fertilized egg should have legal protections, the candidate used the question as an opportunity to defend life and vigorously attacked the Democrat frontrunner.
"I don't know what you're talking — I believe all life is worthy of the protection of our laws. That's what I believe," declared Rubio.
Rubio, 44, is the youngest candidate in the Republican field, and has consistently declared he will defend life at all stages of conception, regardless of circumstances.
"I believe it is outrageous that Hillary Clinton supports partial-birth abortion, which is a gruesome process that's been outlawed in the United States, but she supports it as a process that should be legal," Rubio asserted.
"I believe that a child, an unborn child at 24, 25 weeks who is viable outside the womb, it should not be legal to abort. Hillary Clinton believes it should be. She's in the minority on both of those issues," he argued.
Rubio said he will expose Clinton's radical views in the general election.
Debate over when a fertilized egg is considered to have personhood or full legal rights is an important topic in the right to life movement and a more controversial topic in the wider culture.
The Los Angeles Times reported in June that Rubio did not see coherent reasons for abortion in cases such as rape or incest. The presidential candidate said he did not feel it was right to "correct one tragedy with a second tragedy," and would rather "err on the side of life."
The Christian Post reported in May that Rubio believes the science is settled on the beginning of human life. The Florida Senator has become notorious for flipping questions from the media on abortion back at them or to abortion proponents.
"Let me give you a bit of settled science that [liberals will] never admit to. Science is settled, it's not even a consensus, it is a unanimity, that human life begins at conception," Rubio said in May on "The Sean Hannity Show."
"So I hope the next time that someone wags their finger about science," he continued, "they'll ask one of these leaders on the left: 'Do you agree with the consensus of scientists that say that human life begins at conception?' I'd like to see someone ask that question."
Rubio, who was perceived to have a strong performance in the last Republican debate, has seen a jump in support in the latest polls. The Florida senator is currently polling in double digits and in third place in New Hampshire.
Most national polls now have Rubio in double digits in the race for the Republican nomination, still trailing Donald Trump and Ben Carson.