Sen. Rubio questions federal funding for NPR — during interview on NPR

During an interview on a National Public Radio (NPR) show Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) questioned whether the federal government should continue to fund public radio.

In an interview with NPR's Diane Rehm, Rubio said he had concerns about public broadcasting.

"I said I was concerned about it, and I'll tell you why — because today I think there's no shortage of broadcasting options available to people," Rubio said Thursday. "I think that we're in a different era than we were 50 or 60 years ago, where the importance of public broadcasting was heightened. And you're probably going to disagree with me on that. I think at a time when the government spends more money than it takes in, we need to carefully evaluate everything we spend money on, including public radio."

Rubio said that with so many choices today, the radio broadcast industry did not need help from the federal government.

"I mean, I have 300 stations on my satellite radio — does the federal government need to be involved in the broadcasting business?" Rubio continued.

Asked by Rehm whether Rubio thought being on a public radio-hosted show contradicted his position, Rubio said Rehm's show would be on the air "whether or not" it was hosted on public radio "because of its content and the listeners."

"I mean, anytime we have an opportunity to go anywhere, we try to take that opportunity to communicate with people who are listening," Rubio said.

In 2011, House Republicans attempted to pass legislation defunding National Public Radio but Democrats successfully resisted the attempt.