MEMO: How Marco Rubio Has Failed Florida

When Marco Rubio reneged on his pledge to not run for reelection in Florida, it was clear that his path would be linked with Donald Trump’s bull-in-a-china-shop mentality. What we didn’t know at the time was just how forcefully Rubio would support Trump and become an advocate for his racist, xenophobic policies that are dangerous to our country.

Rubio is now taking his Trump endorsement to the next level: He says he’s open to campaigning with Donald Trump. Recently, the Sun Sentinel reported that Rubio “delivered a strong election pitch Thursday night — to elect Donald Trump president.”

Despite believing that Trump cannot be trusted with the nuclear codes and refusing to say that Trump is qualified to be Commander in Chief, Marco Rubio is still supporting him and willing to campaign on his behalf. That’s just one reason why Marco Rubio has failed Florida during his term in the Senate. From the minute he arrived in January 2011, he was focused on running for president at the expense of his constituents.

Even now, after he imploded in the presidential race and lost 66 of 67 counties in Florida, Rubio is already thinking about bailing on Florida again to run for president and refuses to commit to serving the full six year term if he’s re-elected.

Floridians gave Rubio six years to prove that he was in it for anything besides himself, and he has given them no reason to trust that Rubio will change anything and begin to work on behalf of Florida.

How precisely has Marco Rubio failed Florida?

  1. Rubio was an ineffective senator
    • Marco Rubio might have a lot of ambition and talk a big game, but he doesn’t have any major accomplishments to tout back home. Perhaps it’s because “he hates” the Senate, according to one friend. On Zika, the biggest public health crisis to hit Florida this year, Rubio has proven that he lacks the clout with his Republican colleagues to get anything done. The $1.9 billion in emergency funding requested seven months ago is still sitting idle in Congress.

      Tampa Bay Times profile last year noted that Rubio “lacks big legislative accomplishments” and another reported that “while Rubio talks of big ideas on the trail, he hasn’t followed through on some of them in Washington,” citing a tax overhaul he’d spoken about and an overhaul of the earned-income tax credit. According to Politico“Rubio has not really focused on Florida issues as a senator, letting his Democratic counterpart Bill Nelson take the lead.”

      Rubio was chided by the Tampa Bay Times halfway through his term as someone “who has spent more time in office writing self-promotional books than sponsoring legislation.” To that point: Of the 83 bills Rubio has sponsored in the Senate, only two have actually been signed into law.

      Rubio failed to perform one of the most basic functions of representing Floridians: Voting and attending Committee hearings. He had one of the worst attendance and voting records in the Senate even before he ran for president. According to GovTrack:

      “From Jan 2011 to Jul 2016, Rubio missed 234 of 1,616 roll call votes, which is 14.5%. This is much worse than the median of 1.7% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.”

      Rubio missed 68 percent of all committee hearings during his time in the Senate – even missing 60 percent of Foreign Relations hearings while saying his seat on the Foreign Relations committee gave him important experience. The Tampa Bay Times said his lackluster committee attendance and voting record “paints a bleak picture of participation in the day-to-day responsibilities of the job.”

      It’s no wonder Floridians are poised to deprive Rubio of a second chance to represent them.

  1. Rubio is as extreme as they come
    • Marco Rubio was part of the original Tea Party that came to power in 2010 and since then, he has only become more extreme and out-of-touch with Florida. The Associated Press pointed outthat many of his policy prescriptions were born in the same era he’s vowing to leave behind.”

      • Rubio vehemently opposes marriage equality.
      • Rubio said Social Security and Medicare “weakened us as a people,” wants to raise the retirement age and partially privatize Meidcare.
      • Rubio opposes President Obama’s immigration relief programs for families (DACA and DAPA.)
      • Rubio opposed bankruptcy for Puerto Rico.
      • Rubio denies the science behind human-caused climate change.
      • Rubio opposes a minimum wage increase.
      • Rubio has an “A” rating from the NRA and opposes common sense gun safety legislation like universal background checks for gun purchases, banning suspected terrorists from buying guns, and closing the gun show loophole.
      • Rubio would abolish the Department of Education.
      • Rubio would take quality, affordable healthcare from 1.6 million Floridians by repealing the Affordable Care Act.
      • Rubio introduced a regressive tax plan that would give the top one percent of earners tax cuts that were more than 103 times larger than the poorest 20 percent of workers.
      • Rubio voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act and called legislation requiring equal pay for equal work a “waste of time.”
      • Rubio voted against the Violence Against Women Act.
      • Rubio opposes a women’s right to choose, even in cases of rape or incest.
      • Rubio supports defunding Planned Parenthood.
      • Rubio supports discriminatory RFRA laws that allow businesses to refuse to serve LGBT people.
      • Rubio voted to cut Pell grants.
      • Rubio opposed reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
      • Rubio voted to require photo IDs for federal elections.

  1. Rubio works for big donors, not constituents
    • Marco Rubio is in the pocket of his big donors and has used his political positions to help donors’ agendas at the expense of Floridians. Some highlights:

      Rubio’s billionaire benefactor, Norman Braman, has had a grip on Rubio since his time in the Florida State House. From using his staff’s resources to quickly respond to Braman’s request to sort out an immigration issue for his friend’s daughter, to Rubio’s legislative victory in 2005 in securing $5 million of state funds for a cancer research institute named after Braman, to making arguments that echoed Braman’s on a “highly technical” bill supporting Braman’s crusade against public works in 2008, Rubio worked in lockstep with his billionaire benefactor. It comes as no surprise, then, that his 2016 presidential campaign’s tax plan was designed to benefit people just like Braman – the superrich.

      Rubio has courted the Koch brothers throughout his career – going as far as saying he has “tremendous admiration” for them and that he would “love to earn” their support when he ran for president. Americans for Prosperity, a major player in the Koch network, bragged that they persuaded Rubio to oppose the Export-Import Bank, and Rubio signed a pledge to “do the bidding” of the Kochs and oppose climate change legislation. In turn, Rubio and his political committees have received at least $5,400,000 from the Koch’s network.

      Paul Singer, “one of the wealthiest and most influential Republican donors in the country,” according to the New York Times, is a major Rubio fundraiser and has supported him since at least his 2010 Senate run. In return, Rubio has become vocally and legislatively involved in Argentina’s debt crisis – where Singer’s “Vulture Capitalist” hedge fund is estimated to have made billions.

      Rubio has raised more than $3 million from Wall Street, where he has a history of putting the interests of his donors first. He’s voted at least four times to gut restrictions on big banks in Dodd-Frank, tried to damage the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and eliminate the capital gains tax.