TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP campaign arm outraises Democratic counterpart in September House passes bills to secure telecommunications infrastructure Senators call for answers from US firm over reported use of forced Uyghur labor in China MORE (R-Fla.) on Tuesday morning criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid calls on Democrats to plow forward on immigration Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada The Memo: Biden's horizon is clouded by doubt MORE (D-Nev.) and other Democrats for employing “vicious” tactics against Mitt Romney.
Rubio, who at one time was thought to be on a shortlist of potential Romney running mates and is scheduled to speak at the convention Thursday night, singled out Reid’s claim that Romney had not paid taxes for a span of 10 years.
“You have the majority leader of the United States Senate saying that he has a secret source who told him that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes. This is crazy. This is absolutely insane, and yet we’re having these kinds of things happening on a consistent basis now. There are no rules now,” Rubio told members of the South Carolina delegation during a breakfast at the well-manicured Innisbrook Golf Resort.
Republican senators are still fuming over Reid’s claim that a Bain Capital investor told him Romney had not paid taxes for a decade.
Rubio said the charge is part of a broad Democratic strategy led by President Obama to employ the tactics of personal destruction against Romney.
“This is a president who has abandoned the historical [sic] opportunity that he had to elevate America’s politics,” he said.
“Instead of debating or trying to convince people the last four years has made America better, this is an all-out assault to try to convince people that Mitt Romney is someone you can’t possibly vote for because he’s not a good person. This is what this president has become — he’s become just like any other politician in Washington.”
Rubio took aim at a Democratic ad featuring a widower who blames his wife’s death on losing his job and health insurance because of Bain Capital, a private equity firm Romney headed.
“They’re saying things that are absolutely vicious,” he said. “Accusing Mitt Romney of being responsible for the death of a poor woman who lost her health insurance. Comparing him to a vampire in an earlier ad, a felon, a tax cheat. These are ridiculous allegations.”