Rubio cancels event after late Senate vote
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Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWhite House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform Tom Hanks weighs in on primary: 'Anybody can become president' GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling MORE (R-Fla.) is scrapping an event for his 2016 presidential campaign amid backlash over his Senate voting record.

Rubio cancelled a noon lunch in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The senator was back at the Capitol early Friday morning to cast his ballot against the budget deal in a 3 a.m. vote.

CNN first reported the canceled meeting, noting a change in Rubio's daily schedule sent to news outlets.


Rubio campaign spokesman Alex Conant said Friday that there is nothing unusual about his candidate’s scheduling decision.

“It’s routine for Marco to return to D.C. for major votes,” he said. "He’s done that many times for major votes throughout the campaign. He’s back on the campaign trail this afternoon.”

Conant then cited Rubio’s votes for an attempt at defunding ObamaCare and rejecting the Iran nuclear deal as examples.

Rubio fought off an attack about his Senate voting record at Wednesday night's debate from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, his former mentor in the Sunshine State.

“Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term,” Bush told Rubio during the contest in Boulder, Colo.

“I mean, literally the Senate — what is it, a French work week where you have three days to show up?” he asked. "You can campaign, or just resign and let someone else take the job.”


Rubio fired back with what looked to be a prepared attack.

“The only reason [Bush is launching this criticism] is because we’re running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you,” he said.

Bush’s barbs follow an editorial in the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper earlier this week calling for Rubio’s Senate resignation.

“Your job is to represent Floridians in the Senate,” the publication wrote, adding that Rubio is “ripping off” his constituents. "Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.”

But Rubio was widely viewed as a winner in Wednesday's debate and was seen as getting the better of Bush in their exchange. 

Many believe Rubio could become the number one pick in the crowded GOP race for establishment Republicans — replacing Bush.

A Democratic National Committee spokeswoman described Rubio's decision Friday as too little, too late.
"Rubio continues to play politics for his own gain by spending more time on raising his profile and recklessly using the Senate as a personal stepping stone," said Christina Freundlich, the DNC's southern regional press secretary.
"There is nothing presidential about quitting or playing games with the full faith and credit of the United States, but in Marco Rubio's view, it's all that matters," she said.
"When Marco Rubio selectively decides to show up for work, like he did last night, it is only for one purpose - to vote against American progress and supporting the middle class," Freundlich added of Rubio's budget deal vote.