Presidential races

Rubio: I hate Clinton winning more than missing votes

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday that he would rather skip Senate votes than let Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton win in 2016.

“As far as votes, I don’t like missing votes — I hate it,” he told host Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.”

{mosads}“Here’s what I hate more — that is to wake up on the first Wednesday of November in 2016 to the news that Hillary Clinton has been elected president of the United States,” Rubio said.

Rubio has repeatedly come under fire for missing votes in the Senate since launching his White House run last April.

Rubio argued Thursday that he is present for the moments that matter most to his constituents back home.

“The vast majority of work that happens in any Senate office is direct constituent services,” he said. “And we’re going to continue to provide that service. It’s the thing I’m most proud of.”

“We do our best effort to make it — we’ve cancelled campaign events, especially for important votes, and we will definitely be there for any vote in which our vote would be decisive on making a difference on the outcome,” Rubio added.

Rubio’s remarks follow his appearance in the GOP’s third presidential debate airing from Boulder, Colo., Wednesday night.

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), who once mentored Rubio early in his political career, criticized the senator for shirking his responsibilities in Congress.

“Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term,” Bush said. “I mean, literally the Senate, what is it — a French work week where you have three days to show up?”

“You can campaign, or just resign and let someone else take the job,” he added.

Rubio retorted that Bush had never questioned Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) over his Senate voting record during the 2008 presidential campaign.

“I don’t remember you ever complaining about his voting record. The only reason you’re doing it is because we’re running for the same position and you’re convinced that attacking me is going to help you,” he said.

The Sun-Sentinel, a south Florida paper that covers Rubio’s home town of Miami and endorsed his Senate campaign in 2010, published an editorial calling for his resignation late Tuesday.

“Your job is to represent Floridians in the Senate,” it said. “Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.”

Rubio said the article showed evidence of “the media’s bias” given it did not criticize then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) during his 2008 presidential election campaign.

The Florida lawmaker has missed 12.3 percent of his roll call votes between January 2011 and this month, according to an average from GovTrack.

Tags 2016 Barack Obama Boulder CNBC Colorado Congress debates Florida Hillary Clinton Jeb Bush John McCain Marco Rubio Miami Senate The Sun-Sentinel votes
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