Rubio criticizes reporters, Democrat for racism accusations against McCain

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioWhite House makes push for paid family leave and child care reform Tom Hanks weighs in on primary: 'Anybody can become president' GOP senator blocks bill aimed at preventing Russia election meddling MORE (R-Fla.) is criticizing news outlets, reporters and a congressman for statements including allegations of racism against the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainJeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay Budowsky: Would John McCain back impeachment? MORE (R-Ariz.), as President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed 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." 

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His tweet was in response to a tweet by Rep. David CicillineDavid Nicola CicillineImpeachment obliterates tinges of comity in House Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay 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 ObamaModerate or left of center — which is better for Democrats in 2020? Obama: Countries facing severe effects of climate change offer 'moral call to rest of the world' Democrats' self-inflicted diversity vulnerability MORE because she believed him to be an "Arab."

Rubio's tweet criticized Teen Vogue, The New York Times, Rep. John LewisJohn LewisDocumentary on John Lewis set for release next year Isakson talks up bipartisanship in Senate farewell speech Trump tax breaks for low-income neighborhoods draw scrutiny 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 OmarIlhan Omar responds to 'Conservative Squad': 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' Biden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire 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 GrahamTrump: 'I wouldn't mind' a long Senate impeachment process Poll finds Graham with just 2-point lead on Democratic challenger Hill editor-in-chief calls IG report 'a game-changer' 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-CortezDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez to hold campaign rallies in Los Angeles, Las Vegas Overwhelming majority say social media companies have too much influence: poll MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibIlhan Omar responds to 'Conservative Squad': 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' House passes bill that would give legal status to thousands of undocumented farmworkers Biden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll MORE (Mich.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyIlhan Omar responds to 'Conservative Squad': 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire Booker unveils legislation for federal bill to ban discrimination against natural hair 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.