POLITICS

Rubio defends Trump on 'SNL' uproar: 'Don’t like it, don’t watch the show'

RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Republican presidential candidate and front-runner Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally at the Richmond International Raceway October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Republican presidential candidate and front-runner Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally at the Richmond International Raceway October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)  (2015 Getty Images)

While Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have been engaged in a war of words in recent weeks, the Florida senator took time earlier this week to defend his Republican presidential rival over the controversy surrounding his hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live."

Rubio said that while he doesn't always agree with the real estate mogul, he thinks the calls to have him removed as a host on the long-running sketch comedy show is excessive.

"It's a free country," Rubio said on Fox News' "Your World" with Neil Cavuto on Wednesday. "I don't agree with everything that Donald Trump says, I don't agree with everything the other side says, either. But if you don't like it, don't watch the show."

Rubio added: "It's on at 11:35 on Saturday nights and there are plenty of other things you can watch, or you can just go to bed early."

A number of Latino groups and lawmakers have called on NBC and SNL creator Lorne Michaels to remove the boisterous candidate from the hosting gig.

National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), said in a pointed letter to the heads of NBCUniversal and Saturday Night Live that while it was glad to see NBC sever its ties with Trump after the billionaire used his campaign announcement earlier this year to denounce Mexican immigrants, it was outraged that the show was putting the candidate on a pedestal.

"Donald Trump has yet to apologize for his bigoted comments about Mexican immigrants," the group said the letter. "Allowing Trump to host SNL will legitimize and validate his anti-Latino comments."

"We are appalled that you would enable Trump's hateful speech for nothing less than a ratings ploy and ask that you rescind the SNL invitation."

Illinois' Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez added that Trump's inflammatory comments about immigrants should disqualify him from hosting the show.

"To put Donald Trump on the air in American living rooms on the signature comedy show of the most important national networks after saying that Mexicans are rapists, drug dealers, and criminals, that is a corporate blunder too big to be ignored," he said on the House floor on Wednesday, according to The Hill.

"If Donald Trump had said gays and lesbians were murderers and raping Americans, would he get to host the show? It is every bit as much a fiction and a lie," he added.

Trump, who is scheduled to host SNL on November 7, has laughed off most of the criticism and made claims that the uproar is only going to drive the show's ratings up.

"I know these groups," Trump said." "I get hit with this stuff all the time… I think they'll only drive the ratings up higher."

The real estate mogul also continues to assert that he will win the majority of the Hispanic vote in both the primary campaign and general election, if he wins the GOP nomination.

"I have fantastic respect for Hispanics," Trump said.  "I actually think I will win the Hispanics."

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