Rubio mistakenly tweets tribute to Lewis with picture of late Elijah Cummings

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) prompted pushback Saturday after tweeting a photo of himself and the late Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in a tribute to the late John Lewis (D-Ga.), who died Friday night.

Rubio on Saturday shared a photo of himself and Cummings, tweeting that it was “an honor to know & be blessed with the opportunity to serve in Congress with JohnLewis a genuine & historic American hero.”

Rubio also changed his profile picture on Twitter to the photo with Cummings on Saturday, according to multiple reports. He has since changed the photo to one of himself and Lewis. 

The Florida lawmaker later tweeted “Earlier today I tweeted an incorrect photo.”

“John Lewis was a genuine American hero,” Rubio tweeted, adding “I was honored to appear together in Miami 3 years ago at an event captured in video below.”

“My God grant him eternal rest,” Rubio continued. 

Rubio’s office said in a statement to The Hill that the photo was initially mislabeled, identifying Lewis as Cummings. The photo was taken in February 2014 by the Philadelphia Inquirer photojournalist Lauren Schneiderman. 

The photo of Rubio and Cummings was up for approximately 20 minutes, according to ABC News. Reporters and other Twitter users were quick to correct the GOP lawmaker.

Cummings died in October at the age of 68.

Lewis in 2019 made an April Fools’ Day announcement saying that he planned to grow a beard to avoid being mistaken for Cummings.

“Just this weekend, I went to church in Maryland. Someone came up to me and said, ‘Hi, Mr. Cummings! I vote for you all the time,’ ’’ Lewis said in a statement. “I just said thank you. What else could I say? That’s when I decided, I should just grow a beard.” 

The longtime civil rights leader died Friday. He spent 17 terms in Congress representing an Atlanta-area district.

Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) also mistakenly shared a photo of himself with Cummings Saturday in a memorial to Lewis. The two men are pictured in front of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

“Congressman Lewis’ courage and principled leadership helped guide American through one of the most challenging periods in its history, calling our country to live up to its highest ideals with justice and equality for all people regardless of color or creed,” Sullivan wrote in his initial post. 
Another post on Sullivan’s Facebook page Saturday night shared the message without a photo. 
The Hill has reached out to Sullivan’s office for comment. 
Updated 8:31 p.m.
Tags Dan Sullivan Elijah Cummings John Lewis Marco Rubio

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