Groups hit Rubio on Trump, Social Security

click to enlarge Groups hit Rubio on Trump, Social Security
Gage Skidmore

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy isn't getting tons of help from his party at the national level in his quest to unseat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. The Congressman from Jupiter has seen support from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) disappear as it seeks to plug its resources into races deemed more winnable in its pursuit to restore a Democratic majority in the Senate, and also because politics is a hateful realm wherein only the most transactional among us dwell. (Though he apparently pulled in some $3.3 million this past quarter.)

But other groups are stepping up to draw attention to Rubio's neckpunchingly extreme positions on everything from climate change (it's just weather, and humans didn't cause it, man) to abortion (ladies that catch the Zika must have all the microcephaly babbies).

On Tuesday, and For Florida's Future released a video shedding light on a position of his that's for some reason not incredibly well-publicized: his support of Donald Trump.

The 30-second spot opens with footage of Rubio telling a crowd of enthused supporters, "we have to make sure that Donald wins this election."

What follows is a question many have, in one way or another, been asking since June of last year: "Really, Marco? This guy?"

After all, Rubio's presidential aspirations were dashed by Trump, the biggest (Chris Christie notwithstanding), loudest thing in the room beating him bigly in Florida after loudly taunting him with that "Little Marco" moniker.

The groups behind the video hope Florida voters will connect Rubio, via his support of Trump, to "the bigoted, nativist, embargo-skirting, tax-dodging Republican nominee." Especially pertinent, they say, are recent revelations that a company he controlled violated the U.S.-Cuba embargo, something that could potentially alienate South Florida's many anti-Castro Cuban-American voters against Rubio, whose parents emigrated from the country decades ago.

The spot, dubbed "Marco Trumpo," comes on the heels of a round of swing state polling showing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leading Trump in all swing states but Ohio in the wake of last week's debate, in which, by most accounts, Clinton totally shredded.

Trump is expected to spend a few days campaigning in Florida next week, and it's unclear whether Rubio will be by his side at any point (probably not). Regardless, said a Murphy campaign spokesman in a written statement, voters ought not forget that Rubio backs the guy.

“Whether or not Marco Rubio stands with Donald Trump during his Florida swing, we know he stands with Trump on the issues that matter to Florida’s Hispanic communities,” said Murphy campaign spokesman Jason Rubin. “Rubio has allowed Trump to demonize millions of Florida families, as Rubio himself raced to get in line with his party’s dangerous immigration policies. Florida families deserve better than the Trump-Rubio immigration agenda.”  

Also on Tuesday, activists in Tampa protested outside Rubio's satellite office over his position on Social Security, namely his comments that the program has "weakened us as a people" that is "bankrupting this country." Among them were AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka and Rich Fiesta, executive director for the Alliance for Retired Americans.

It's unclear whether the assists from outside organizations will have much impact on Murphy, given that they're likely not able to mention Rubio's major opponent by name, or whether they'll have much impact on his numbers. Poll results out Monday show Murphy seven points behind Rubio; in August, that number was three.

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