Rubio: Obama's culture of 'hardball politics' led to IRS scandal

Rubio referred to the report last week that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted that officials in Ohio had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, with higher scrutiny. Many groups were singled out and audited for having the words "Tea Party" or "patriot" in their name.

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“These are the tactics of the third world,” Rubio said. “[But] none of this is new. What we see here is an emerging pattern.

“I’m not saying someone in the White House picked up the phone and told the [IRS] to do these audits … but when you create a culture like that, it leads to this behavior throughout your administration.”

Rubio said these incidents weren’t just limited to the IRS. He cited recent reports that the Department of Justice seized the phone records reporters from The Associated Press. He also cited the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) objections to Boeing moving some manufacturing operations to the right-to-work state of South Carolina years ago.

“This is not just limited to the IRS, this is a culture of intimidation,” Rubio said. “There was South Carolina and Boeing who decided to relocate its operations … the NLRB came after them. … They were going after them because the union in Washington State was upset.

“This is what you get with an administration that is all about politics.”

Republicans have called for further investigation into the IRS scandal and the DOJ phone records. President Obama said he would aid in the investigations if there was any wrongdoing.