Rubio defends Romney’s ‘very poor’ remark

{mosads}Under attack, Romney sought to clarify the statement by saying his comment was taken out of context and spoke to the “focus” of his campaign, which is on middle-income families.

“I think if you asked Gov. Romney, gave him another chance, he would have said it a different way, especially in this climate where everything is parsed,” Rubio said, backing Romney’s defense. “But at the end of the day, the fundamental point is that we do have a safety net in America, it exists to help people who cannot help themselves and it exists to help people who have fallen to get back on their feet and try again. It can’t be a way of life. But that thing has to be paid for, and how do we pay for it? It can only be paid for through a prosperous economy. … Raising your boss’s taxes is not going to secure your job, which is what the president’s argument is.”

Rubio’s endorsement would be a major “get” for any of the GOP candidates, but he has said he will not endorse. He also expressed some frustration to Ingraham for the length of the primary process.

“I know we have to have a primary, I support it, I think it’s going to make our candidates stronger,” he said. “But we have a very compelling argument to make to the American people that the guy in charge of this country has no idea what he’s doing and the longer he’s there the worse our economy’s going to be. … The sooner we can get to that argument I think the better off the country’s going to be.”

Along with economic issues, Rubio offered a harsh criticism of the Obama administration’s newly announced mandate requiring contraceptive coverage in health-care plans, calling it “unconstitutional.”

Rubio joins House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who also criticised the new rule as unconstitutional on Thursday. Their criticism stems from the fact that under the new rule, religious institutions that might oppose contraception, such as Catholic universities and hospitals, will have to provide contraceptive coverage for their employees.

“I hope it will be challenged,” Rubio said. “I hope before we get to that point, I hope the administration will reconsider and realize that they have made a big, big mistake here.”

“I don’t believe there are any constitutional rights issues here, but I would refer you to others to discuss that. … I understand that there’s controversy and we understand that and we will continue to work with religious groups to discuss their concerns,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a briefing earlier this week. “But on the other side of this was the important need to provide access to women to the preventive services that they require.”

Rubio blasted Carney over the defense, saying, “I don’t know where he got his law degree from because one of the most cherished constitutional principles, in fact one of the cornerstone ones when this country was founded and framed through the Constitution, was the issue of religious freedom. And the notion that somehow the government of the United States could come in and not just force you to do it but, more importantly, force a religious organization to pay for something that religion teaches is immoral would be so beyond anything the framers could have imagined.”

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