President Donald Trump apparently is the gift that keeps on giving for Sen. Marco Rubio.
On Monday evening, the Florida Times-Union reported that for a second time in a week, protesters have forced Sen. Rubio from one of his regional offices.
Rubio’s team is working to find new space in Tampa, and now faces a similar challenge in Jacksonville, after a decision was made to terminate the Rubio office’s lease because of what the T-U calls “daily protests” outside.
Worth noting: Rubio’s Jacksonville office is located next to a children’s behavioral clinic, a location which apparently factored into the decision-making matrix.
Rubio spokesperson Christine Mandreucci, meanwhile, suggests that the protesters aren’t exactly protesting the senator after all.
“For the second time in another major region of the state, the unruly behavior of some anti-Trump protesters is making it more inconvenient for Floridians to come to our local office to seek assistance with federal issues,” Mandreucci asserted, in a statement she had earlier provided to the Florida Times-Union.
The statement goes on to assert (a few sentences later) that “those who disagree with President Trump and Senator Rubio certainly have a right to exercise their First Amendment rights…”
However, the construction of the statement is worth noting, in light of the gap some perceive between Rubio’s campaign-trail promises to act as a “check and balance” against the president.
When we asked for examples of meaningful daylight between the positions of Rubio and Trump on issues of concern to protesters, or examples of what the T-U story was missing in terms of context, they were not immediately forthcoming.
Rather, we were re-referred to the Tampa Bay Times article linked above, and told that “protesters are part of the Indivisible group, a liberal group that literally follows a guide that outlines ways to resist President Trump and his ideas.”
Are protesters objecting to Sen. Rubio? To the Trump agenda? Do they see Rubio as an effective “check and balance” on the president that beat him by 20 points in his homestate presidential primary? Or do they see him as an exponent of Trump’s agenda?
These, apparently, are open questions.