Democratic pundit Bakari Sellers said Sunday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) would pose a major challenge to Democrats if he is chosen as the Republican nominee for president.
"He scares me. He's a dangerous general election candidate," Sellers, a Democrat, said on CNN's State of the Union. "I thought he did well [in the CNN debate]."
"You mean dangerous in the sense you feel he could be a strong candidate?" CNN host Jake Tapper asked.
"Dangerous as in one day he could be the 45th president of the United States," Sellers said.
"So you're not locking your doors," Tapper quipped.
Sellers' judgement of Rubio's performance in the debate was shared by Republicans: according to a CNN/ORC poll released Sunday, Rubio was identified as the debate's winner by 14 percent of registered Republican voters, second only to businesswoman Carly Fiorina with 17 percent.
While Rubio's stock with Republican voters is rapidly rising, he has yet to break out in a crowded Republican field. The CNN/ORC poll puts him in fourth with 11 percent support, behind real estate mogul Donald Trump (24 percent), Fiorina (15 percent), and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (14 percent).
Sellers praised Fiorina's "board room composure" in the debate as well.
"She was in there with all the men. She handled her own," Sellers said.
JAKE TAPPER: you, as a Democrat, you do not want Marco Rubio?
BAKARI SELLERS: No. He scares me. He's a dangerous general election candidate. I thought he did well. Carly did well.
TAPPER: You mean dangerous in the sense you feel he could be a strong candidate.
SELLERS: Dangerous as in one day he could be the 45th president of the United States.
TAPPER: You're not locking your doors.
SELLERS: No. But I think that Carly exhibited that board room composure. She was in there with all the men. She handled her own. She did very well. And also on the undercard, I think Lindsey Graham and Rick Santorum did well. But I think they did very well. I watched it the whole five hours.