Rubio defends GOP decision to block nominee: 'Elections have consequences'
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Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade MORE on Wednesday argued that Republicans have the right to block President Obama's efforts to fill Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's vacant seat thanks to a mandate from voters after the party won back the Senate in 2014.

"They say elections have consequences," the GOP presidential candidate said in South Carolina about those who argue the president has the constitutional right to fill the vacancy.

"Elections have consequences, and we won the majority in the Senate in 2014."
Rubio added that "people have this idea in some corners of the political debate that the president is the supreme leader" and that Congress is supposed to "nod our heads and say, 'Yes Mr. President, we're going to go your direction.'"
"Our system of government, we need to get back to what it was designed as," he said, of a system where Congress makes the legislative calls and the president executes its will.
He also nodded at Scalia's "originalist" interpretation of Constitution by arguing that the Supreme Court should decide through that prism. 
"Then you have a judicial branch that decides whether or not it violates the Constitution as originally drafted. What is the original meaning of the Constitution and then you apply it, not recreate it," he said. 
"We have to get back to those principles. I will."

The senator's comments come as Republican Senate leaders posture against confirming the president's nominee.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP strategist donates to Alabama Democrat McConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Brent Budowsky: A plea to Alabama voters MORE (Ky.) drew a line in the sand shortly after Scalia's death on Saturday with a statement that argued that the "American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice" by voting in the 2016 elections. Most Republican senators, including Rubio and fellow presidential candidate Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE, have backed that call.

The president's nominee would need to pass a 60-point threshold in the Senate for confirmation. With a 54-seat majority, however, a unified Republican front can block any pick. 

But Democrats have pushed back, arguing that the president should not be denied an appointee with almost a year remaining in his term.