Rubio defends Florida from Jon Stewart's barbs

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Memo: Biden's immigration problems reach crescendo in Del Rio Democrats face bleak outlook in Florida The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Dems attempt to tie government funding, Ida relief to debt limit MORE (R) jabbed Jon Stewart on Tuesday night after "The Daily Show" host used a lengthy segment to put down the lawmaker's home state of Florida.

"You're a candidate for a lizard beating," Rubio joked.

Before welcoming Rubio to the show, Stewart spent nearly 10 minutes getting laughs at Florida's expense, including bashing those opposed to the overturning of the state's gay marriage ban. 

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He also raised the case of a Florida reptile store owner arrested after authorities say he struck employees with a bearded dragon lizard while swinging it around his head. 

"Florida, you don't get to judge others when your state motto is, ‘If Darwin was right we wouldn't be here,’ " Stewart said. 

Rubio, who is openly considering a White House run in 2016, went on the show as part of a media blitz promoting the economic policy ideas in his new book. It was his third appearance on the show and the first since 2012. 

Questioned on whether he would have to move further to the right to become president, Rubio pointed to his book, saying, "I believe that this is taking limited government and free enterprise and applying it to the challenges of the 21st century."

Rubio was mostly well-received by the show's audience, the pair getting laughs at moments such as when Rubio asked about getting some water.

"I know you're a thirsty man," Stewart joked.

"You don't plan to go to Florida anytime soon," Rubio said to Stewart.

"Let me tell you about the great state of Florida. What a wonderful sense of humor," Stewart replied.

Watch Rubio's segment here.