DNC seizes on Sun-Sentinel’s call for Marco Rubio to resign
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

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Without further editorial comment, the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday sent a mass email statement that included the entire contents of Wednesday morning’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel lead editorial, “Marco Rubio should resign, not rip us off.”

It comes after Rubio has continued to make reactionary remarks when asked about his poor attendance record in the Senate this year.

Rubio had missed 92 of the year’s 284 roll calls as of Tuesday morning, a 68 percent attendance rate. That’s worse than the other members of the Senate running for president this year, but unlike Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul or Lindsey Graham, none have been making such derisive comments about the institution that employs them.

“I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Rubio told The Washington Post about his feelings. “I’m frustrated.”

Here’s part of the Sun-Sentinel editorial:

If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.

Let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day’s work. Don’t leave us without one of our two representatives in the Senate for the next 15 months or so.

You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems. Plus you take a $10,000 federal subsidy — declined by some in the Senate — to participate in one of the Obamacare health plans, though you are a big critic of Obamacare.

You are ripping us off, senator.

Observers note that the Sun-Sentinel endorsed Rubio in the U.S. Senate race in 2010.

American Bridge, a progressive organization that says it is “committed to holding Republicans accountable for their words and actions,” also sent out the editorial in its entirety to reporters on Wednesday.

Here’s the entire editorial:

After five years in the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio does not like his job. A long-time friend told The Washington Post “he hates it.” Rubio says hate might be too strong a word, but he sure acts like he hates his job.

Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. His seat is regularly empty for floor votes, committee meetings and intelligence briefings. He says he’s MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead.

“I’m not missing votes because I’m on vacation,” he told CNN on Sunday. “I’m running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again.”

Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We’ve got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.

Let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day’s work. Don’t leave us without one of our two representatives in the Senate for the next 15 months or so.

You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems. Plus you take a $10,000 federal subsidy — declined by some in the Senate — to participate in one of the Obamacare health plans, though you are a big critic of Obamacare.

You are ripping us off, senator.

True, it’s not easy to raise money and run a presidential campaign while doing your day job. But two other candidates — Sens. Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders — have missed only 10 Senate votes during their campaigns for the White House. You, on the other hand, have missed 59, according to a tally by Politico. This includes votes on the Keystone pipeline, the Export-Import Bank and trade, to name just a few.

It is unpersuasive — and incredible, really — that you say your vote doesn’t matter. “Voting is not the most important part of the job,” you told CNN.

And it is unconscionable that when it comes to intelligence matters, including briefings on the Iran nuclear deal, you said, “we have a staffer that’s assigned to intelligence who gets constant briefings.”

And you want us to take you seriously as a presidential candidate?

Two weeks ago, you took to the Senate floor to excoriate federal workers at the Department of Veterans Affairs for failing to do their jobs. You said, “there is really no other job in the country where if you don’t do your job, you don’t get fired.”

With the exception of your job, right?

Look, a lot us are frustrated by our jobs and office politics. But we still show up for work every day to earn a paycheck.

By choosing to stay in the Senate and get the publicity, perks and pay that go with the position — without doing the work — you are taking advantage of us.

Jeb Bush is right to call you out. “What are high standards worth if we don’t apply them to ourselves?” our former governor said in August. “Consider a pattern in Congress of members who sometimes seem to regard attendance and voting as optional — something to do as time permits.”

Your job is to represent Floridians in the Senate.

Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.



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