Florida Dem: Rubio ‘most homophobic senator’ in country
© Greg Nash

Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Florida Democrat running for Senate, is calling out Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioNikki Haley says if Trump runs for president in 2024 then she won't Trump's early endorsements reveal GOP rift The Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges MORE (R-Fla.) for using the mass shooting in Orlando to reconsider his political future. 

Rubio told reporters Wednesday that he would reconsider his decision not to run for reelection, which he made when launching his ultimately doomed White House bid.


“Obviously, I take very seriously everything that’s going on — not just Orlando, but in our country,” Rubio said Wednesday. “I enjoy my service here a lot. So I’ll go home later this week, and I’ll have some time with my family, and then if there’s been a change in our status, I’ll be sure to let everyone know.”

Murphy, who is competing for the Democratic nomination for the Florida Senate seat against Rep. Alan GraysonAlan Mark GraysonFlorida's Darren Soto fends off Dem challenge from Alan Grayson Live results: Arizona and Florida hold primaries The Hill's Morning Report: Frustration mounts as Republicans blow up tax message MORE, accused the Republican senator of playing politics with the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. He said he’s received calls from people who were “appalled” at Rubio’s actions, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

He said people are calling to say, " 'This is atrocious, this is despicable,' that a senator who is one of the most homophobic senators in this country, someone who voted to keep this terrorist gun loophole open, who has a 100 percent voting record with the [National Rifle Association], I think — and now all of a sudden is going to use this horrific mass shooting, this act of terrorism, this hate crime to decide to run for the U.S. Senate?"

Murphy made his remarks at a press conference Saturday to unveil a criminal justice reform policy. 

Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.) announced Friday he’d end his campaign for the Senate amid growing certainty that Rubio will reverse course and run for reelection.

When pressed by reporters, Murphy said he "certainly" agreed with the assessment that Rubio is the most homophobic senator in the chamber.

"Look at his voting record," Murphy said, according to the Tampa Bay Times. "But what's appalling is not that he's the most homophobic senator, but that he's now using this tragedy, targeting the LGBT community ... as an excuse, an epiphany now, that he's going to run for the Senate."