Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Commerce Department withdraws Huawei rule after Pentagon pushback: reports  Veronica Escobar to give Spanish-language response to Trump State of the Union address MORE (R-Fla.) is criticizing news outlets, reporters and a congressman for statements including allegations of racism against the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainConservative activist wins contest to represent New Hampshire at Republican National Convention Schiff shows clip of McCain in Trump impeachment trial Martha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter MORE (R-Ariz.), as President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE faces widespread condemnation for a tweet in which he told four minority congresswomen to "go back" to where they came from.

Rubio said on Twitter on Friday that even when Republicans respond to racism, "they are called racists." 

ADVERTISEMENT

His tweet was in response to a tweet by Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineHillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Smaller companies testify against Big Tech's 'monopoly power' Living in limbo may end for Liberians in the US MORE (D-R.I.), who said he missed the "days when Republicans stood up to racism" with a video of McCain in 2008 disagreeing with a woman who said she could not trust then-presidential candidate Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Former NYT correspondent rips Democrats' 'selective use' of constitutional violations Obama portraits leaving National Portrait Gallery to tour museums across the country MORE because she believed him to be an "Arab."

Rubio's tweet criticized Teen Vogue, The New York Times, Rep. John LewisJohn LewisObama marks MLK Day by honoring King for his 'poetic brilliance' and 'moral clarity' The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial John Lewis to miss Martin Luther King Jr. Day event MORE (D-Ga.), and reporters Ezra Klein and Don LemonDon Carlton LemonAnderson Cooper, Andy Cohen paired for third straight CNN's New Year Eve CNN's Lemon stunned by 'stupid, juvenile' Trump-Thanos meme: 'Are you people insane?' Biden urges senators to have 'courage' for impeachment trial MORE.

Cicilline responded to Rubio's tweet on Friday by invoking a criticism Rubio had toward Trump during the 2016 GOP presidential primary, writing Friday, "I liked you better when you called the President a 'con artist.' Now you’re just helping his con, Senator."

A CNN spokesperson told The Hill that Lemon was simply asking a question, not criticizing the Arizona Republican. 

“Don Lemon was merely posing a question to his followers in regards to McCain’s position that he put out at that point in time in 2008,” the spokesperson said. “He was not making a statement about Senator McCain.”

Lemon on his program this week also highlighted McCain's past statements in a segment critical of Republicans' handling of Trump supporters' "send her back" chant referring to Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive Media's selective outrage exposed in McSally-Raju kerfuffle MORE (D-Minn.).  

"Remember the words of the late Senator John McCain in the midst of a hard-fought 2008 presidential campaign when some of his supporters said they were afraid of then-candidate Barack Obama," Lemon said before playing clips including the one tweeted by Cicilline.

A spokesperson for Lewis declined to comment. The Hill has reached out for comment from The New York Times; Condé Nast, which owns Teen Vogue; and Vox, where Klein is an editor.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Trump defense team signals focus on Schiff Trump legal team offers brisk opening defense of president MORE (R-S.C.) made similar remarks Thursday, tweeting, "If you are a Republican nominee for President — or President — you will be accused of being a racist."

The House this week voted to condemn the Trump tweets as racist. The vote was largely along party lines, with four Republicans and one Independent voting with the Democrats to condemn the president's remarks. 

In the tweets in question, Trump suggested that Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDes Moines Register endorses Elizabeth Warren as Democratic presidential nominee Sanders faces lingering questions about appeal to women voters Moore defends Sanders's reputation: 'We don't want the fake, and the phony and the fraudulent' MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders wants one-on-one fight with Biden Democrats press Trump administration to stop DNA collection from detained migrants Jayapal: 'We will end up with another Donald Trump' if the US doesn't elect a progressive MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyThe Hill's Morning Report — Dems detail case to remove Trump for abuse of power Pressley says she 'would welcome the opportunity' to educate DeVos after abortion, slavery comparison Massachusetts governor apologizes after calling Pressley speech a 'rant' MORE (Mass.), all of whom are women of color, should "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came." Three of the women were born in the U.S., and Omar came to the country as a refugee from Somalia. 

Updated: 1:20 p.m.