U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, a Jupiter Democrat running for the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Rubio Rubio, rattled off a litany of reasons he thinks Rubio is pretty awful during a brief conference call to reporters Wednesday afternoon.
He had to be quick, though, as he didn't want to spend too much time away from the House floor, where Democratic members were taking part of a seemingly historic sit-in to demand that Congress take up legislation to keep guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists. Murphy called Rubio out on a number of things — his little absenteeism habit, his attempts to limit women's access to health care and his unwillingness to consider legislation that could prevent gun violence like that which occurred in Orlando earlier this month.
“Go look the families in the eye in Orlando who lost a loved one and tell them it doesn't matter,” he said.
He also pointed out how Rubio "broke his promise" of not running for reelection, given that when he was a Republican presidential candidate he vowed not to run for reelection if he didn't get the nomination. He was just that confident.
Then the whole Trump thing happened (and continues to do whatever it's doing to us all).
For Rubio, of course, that meant no nomination, no cabinet position, nothin'.
The GOP establishment (and their presumptive nominee, Donald Trump) urged Rubio to enter the race to keep his seat out of concern that the party would lose control of the Senate if one of the lesser-known Republicans that were in the crowded primary race became their candidate. And while there were five (somewhat) major candidates vying for the Republican nomination for the seat, three have dropped out (two of them Congressmen, one Lt. Governor). The other two are businessman Carlos Beruff and military vet Todd Wilcox.
The latest to drop out, Ponte Vedra Congressman Ron DeSantis, announced Wednesday he would instead try to keep his own seat.
"In light of the Rubio development, I can best advance the cause by running for re-election to the U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District, where I can continue protecting taxpayers, promoting economic growth, helping our veterans, and supporting our military." DeSantis said in the statement, according to News Service of Florida.
Murphy, a moderate (and formerly a Republican himself) who faces a tough Democratic primary against Orlando Congressman Alan Grayson, seems pretty convinced Rubio would be vulnerable in his reelection bid, largely because Rubio has said and done quite a few things that suggest he's really not into being a Senator.
“It's hard for me to imagine a Senator who says he wants [serve] when he's already got one foot out out the door,” Murphy said, referring to Rubio's failed presidential bid, his complaints about being in the Senate and how even now he's leaving the door open to run for president again in 2020 or 2024.
Not un-coincidentally, Rubio actually skipped a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Wednesday, Politico reports.