Archive for the ‘Marco Rubio’ Category

Rubio: There’s No ‘Responsible Way’ to Smoke Pot

RubioSen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said asking whether a politician has ever tried marijuana is a “worthless question” in American politics.

Rubio, a potential 2016 candidate for president, has consistently dodged the question about if he experimented with the drug as a younger man. In an interview that aired Monday from ABC News-Yahoo News, Rubio reiterated that answering the question honestly is a lose-lose.

“Here is the problem with that question in American politics,” he said. “If you say that you did, suddenly there are people out there saying it is not a big deal, look at all these successful people who did it. And I don’t want my kids to smoke marijuana. And I don’t want other people’s kids to smoke marijuana. I don’t think there is a responsible way to recreationally use marijuana. On the other side of it, if you tell people that you didn’t, they won’t believe you. So it is just a worthless question.”
He added: “I understand it is a question today that people think they need to ask, but the bottom line is, I don’t think people should smoke marijuana.”

The Florida senator said he decided against answering the question after a conversation he had following the publication of his book, An American Son, in which he wrote about his mediocre grades in high school.

“Someone came up to me and said, ‘You know, I enjoyed your book, but I want you to know, my son came up to me and said he doesn’t have to get good grades in high school, because look at Marco Rubio, he didn’t do well in high school and look how successful he’s been,’ ” he said.

Rubio, an opponent of legalization, made similar comments earlier this year.

The drug has been decriminalized in a number of states and legalized in Colorado and Washington. Rubio said federal law drug laws should be enforced there.

“And the bottom line is, I believe that adding yet another mind-altering substance to something that’s legal is not good for the country,” he said. “I understand there are people that have different views on it, but I feel strongly about that.”

Read more:
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

Rubio Successfully Blocks Nomination Of Gay Black Judge

Senator Marco Rubio (R) has successfully blocked the appointment of what would have been the first openly gay black man to wear a federal judge’s robe.

The White House confirmed that President Obama would not be reintroducing Judge William Thomas’ nomination to the U.S. Senate, because the initial nomination was “returned by the Senate and Senator Rubio”

Back in July 2013, the Shark Tank reported that the reasons why Rubio was blocking a judge he first recommended to the President, was because of his “past record on the bench.”

Here is what we wrote:

Rubio’s office is quiet about the nomination, but a source very close to the nomination pointed to the Shark Tank via text mail, the probably reasons why Rubio is holding up Thomas’ nomination. The text points to the judge’s past record on the bench, a DUI case, as well as a link to a high profile murder case, as being the reasons why Rubio is most likely holding up the nomination.

The Tampa Bay times reported that Rubio was concerned about “his involvement in a controversial case in which a man was given a sentence of just 364 days in jail for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist.” Thomas light sentence came down because he was concerned about the driver’s blood disorder that would put the offender at risk of further suffering and possibly death, were he to be jailed any longer.

The murder case in question is about the 2006 murder of a 18-year-old girl that was kidnapped, raped, and executed by 5 thugs, who confessed to the crime, but whose confessions were thrown out by Judge Thomas.-Shark Tank
Senator Marco Rubio (R) has successfully blocked the appointment of what would have been the first openly gay black man to wear a federal judge’s robe.

The White House confirmed that President Obama would not be reintroducing Judge William Thomas’ nomination to the U.S. Senate, because the initial nomination was “returned by the Senate and Senator Rubio”

Back in July 2013, the Shark Tank reported that the reasons why Rubio was blocking a judge he first recommended to the President, was because of his “past record on the bench.”

Here is what we wrote:

Rubio’s office is quiet about the nomination, but a source very close to the nomination pointed to the Shark Tank via text mail, the probably reasons why Rubio is holding up Thomas’ nomination. The text points to the judge’s past record on the bench, a DUI case, as well as a link to a high profile murder case, as being the reasons why Rubio is most likely holding up the nomination.

The Tampa Bay times reported that Rubio was concerned about “his involvement in a controversial case in which a man was given a sentence of just 364 days in jail for the hit-and-run death of a cyclist.” Thomas light sentence came down because he was concerned about the driver’s blood disorder that would put the offender at risk of further suffering and possibly death, were he to be jailed any longer.

The murder case in question is about the 2006 murder of a 18-year-old girl that was kidnapped, raped, and executed by 5 thugs, who confessed to the crime, but whose confessions were thrown out by Judge Thomas.-Shark Tank

Rubio’s office, ala Brooke Sammon, stuck to script and pointed to Rubio’s past comments as to why he was hell-bent on blocking Thomas.

“The nomination of Judge Thomas has also been thoroughly reviewed, and Senator Rubio has determined that Thomas’s record on the state court raises serious concerns about his fitness for a lifetime federal appointment. Those concerns include questions about his judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences, particularly in the two high-profile cases of Michele Traverso and Joel Lebron last year. After reviewing Thomas’s record, Senator Rubio cannot support moving forward with the nomination,” Sammon said. -HuffPo
And then there is the affirmative action we-need-more-black-jurists-in-the-courts outcry, which you knew was coming.

“Judge Thomas is a well-qualified jurist,” Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) told HuffPost in the fall. “There is a serious underrepresentation of minorities on the bench and partisan obstructionism isn’t making it any better.”

Hastings is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, which has railed against Rubio for blocking black judicial nominees at a time when the group says black judges make up about 8.3 percent of the federal judicial bench. In addition to Thomas, Rubio had been withholding his blue slip for another black judicial nominee, Brian Davis. But Rubio ultimately agreed to move forward with Davis, who has since been confirmed.

“I am upset and concerned. Senator Marco Rubio himself said that Judge Thomas had passed all the tests, and then all of sudden for Senator Rubio to say Judge Thomas is not suitable is just not right,” Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) said Tuesday. “I don’t know what more I can do to make Senator Rubio understand that what he is doing is wrong.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if groups like GLAAD, or even the New Black Panther Party, Jesse Jackson, or even Sharpton, put in their two cents worth of racially divisive rhetoric to oppose Rubio.

Rubio seeks to boost border language in new bill

The Associated Pressrubio_2

WASHINGTON — Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio says a new immigration bill he helped write needs stronger border security provisions or it will fail in the House and may even have trouble getting through the Senate.

Rubio, who is the chief emissary to conservatives on the contentious legislation, said in a radio interview and in an opinion piece being published in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that he’s been hearing concerns in recent days that more work is needed to boost the bill’s language on the border and he said he’s committed to trying to make those changes.

In his Wall Street Journal piece, Rubio cited “triggers” in the bill that aim to make new citizenship provisions contingent on border security accomplishments. Critics say those provisions are too weak, because in some cases the Homeland Security secretary is tasked with undertaking studies — but not with delivering results — before millions in the U.S. illegally can obtain legal status.

Rubio also mentioned revisiting “waivers” in the bill that give federal officials discretion in applying the law, another flashpoint for conservative critics; concerns about the bill’s cost; and the possibility of making legalization provisions for immigrants already here “tougher, yet still realistic.” He didn’t offer details.

“Clearly what we have in there now is not good enough for too many people and so we’ve got to make it better. And that’s what I’m asking for and that’s what we’re working on,” Rubio said separately this week in an interview with “The Sean Hannity Show” radio program.

“This bill will not pass the House and, quite frankly, I think, may struggle to pass the Senate if it doesn’t deal with that issue, so we’ve got some work to do on that front,” he said.

Rubio’s comments came during Congress’ one-week recess. Back home, lawmakers are hearing feedback about the 844-page bill. Rubio and seven Democratic and Republican senators — the so-called Gang of Eight — introduced the legislation April 17. The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to begin voting on it next week.

In addition to improving border security, the bill would create new visa programs to bring many more foreign workers into the U.S., require employers to check their workers’ legal status, and create a new pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally.

The bill faces a tough road in the Democratic-led Senate and an even tougher one in the GOP-controlled House, and some supporters say it will only be successful if Republicans believe it does enough on the border.

The bill allocates $5.5 billion for border measures aimed at achieving 100 percent surveillance of the entire border and blocking 90 percent of border crossers and would-be crossers in high-entrance areas.

The Homeland Security Department would have six months to create a new border security plan to achieve the 90 percent effectiveness rate. Also within six months, the department would have to create a plan to identify where new fencing is needed. Once that happens, people living here illegally could begin to apply for a provisional legal status.

If the 90 percent rate isn’t achieved within five years, a commission made of border state officials would make recommendations on how to do it.

After 10 years, people with provisional legal status could apply for permanent residency if the new security and fencing plans are operating, a new mandatory employment verification system is in place, and a new electronic exit system is tracking who leaves the country.

Critics say these triggers don’t do enough.

“The triggers aren’t triggers at all,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said in a statement. “The day the bill passes, there will be an effective amnesty for the vast majority of illegal immigrants — abandoning the Gang of Eight’s public promise of enforcement first.”

But changes aimed at strengthening the border security provisions could cause heartburn among Democrats. Advocates and the Obama administration have been reluctant to see citizenship made contingent on border security. Immigrants here illegally already face a 13-year path to citizenship under the bill — which Rubio said actually could stretch to as many as 20 years for some, given how long it takes to undertake certain steps — and anything that could make it more onerous raises concerns with supporters on the left.

The border security agreement is “a very fragile and delicately worded part of the bill,” said Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the liberal Center for American Progress. “To me it really goes to the fundamental question of workability.”

Border security is just one issue that’s likely to provoke a fight. There’s also a brewing dispute over whether the bill should recognize gay unions so that gays could sponsor their partners to come to the U.S. Gay groups are pushing for an amendment in the Judiciary Committee to allow that, but Rubio and other Republicans have made clear it would cost their support.

White House press secretary Jay Carney was asked about the gay immigration issue on Air Force One en route to Mexico City on Thursday. “We have said that we support that provision, but we also think it’s very important to recognize that the overall bill here accomplishes what the president believes needs to be accomplished,” Carney said.

Read more:

Rubio: Immigration plan ‘not amnesty’

By Cameron Josephrubio2ration Plan
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) blitzed all five Sunday shows in his most public pitch yet for the emerging immigration reform bill, arguing that it would control the border and rejecting conservative criticisms that it provided “amnesty” for illegal immigrants in the country.
“This is not ‘amnesty.’ ‘Amnesty’ is the forgiveness of something. ‘Amnesty’ is anything that says ‘do it illegally, it’ll be cheaper and easier,'” Rubio, a member of the bipartisan ‘Gang of Eight’ senators set to unveil their immigration bill on Tuesday, said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Rubio, a Tea Party favorite, is a key figure in winning GOP support for the bill overhauling the nation’s immigration laws through tighter border security and a pathway to citizenship for those illegal immigrants already in the country.
But the contentious politics also place the potential 2016 presidential candidate in a difficult spot, as many conservatives strongly oppose offering immigrants who came here illegally a chance to stay in the U.S. and eventually apply for citizenship. The charge is the most potent attack conservatives have lobbed at the bill.
Rubio defended the bill on Sunday, saying it would allow illegal immigrants to stay only after meeting a series of requirements, including having a job and paying fines, and would require them to wait years before applying for citizenship.

The Florida senator argued the time was ripe for addressing immigration reform.
“This is an issue that needs to be solved,” he said.
Rubio argued that the current system is “de facto amnesty” and that the bipartisan plan would greatly improve control of the border with Mexico.
He said the creation of an “entry-exit” monitoring system to keep immigrants from overstaying their visas, and an “E-Verify” system to make sure companies aren’t illegally hiring unauthorized immigrants would be a central component of the comprehensive bill.
But some conservatives are marshaling their forces in opposition to the legislation and Rubio has sought to allay their concerns about the bill.
Rubio pushed back against a report from the conservative Heritage Foundation that immigration reform would be costly to the government. A similar report helped derail immigration reform six years ago by undercutting conservative support for the measure.
“Conservatives love dynamic scoring,” he said, arguing the bill’s effects should be taken on the whole and not just looked at from what it would cost the government. “This will be a net positive for our country now and for the future.”
Former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a close Rubio ally who helped get him elected in 2010, is now head of the organization — and has long been a staunch opponent of giving illegal immigrants any legal status.
Rubio emphasized on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the bill was “a starting point.”
“It’s not a take-it-or-leave-it offer,” he said, acknowledging the work ahead to win support.
Speaking CNN’s “State of the Union,” Rubio said the bipartisan group of senators behind the bill wouldn’t stop amendments to the legislation.
“We haven’t agreed to band together to keep anyone from amending it. There are 92 other senators who have their own ideas about immigration reform, who, quite frankly, I think, can help make this bill better,” Rubio said.
The Gang of Eight first unveiled their framework in January and have been negotiating details of the plan since then.
A House group is working on its own bipartisan immigration overhaul, and leaders from both parties have said they hope to move on legislation soon. President Obama has made immigration reform a top priority for his second term.
But House GOP concerns over citizenship and conservative calls for the border to be secured first remain key obstacles.
Rubio has taken a deliberative approach to talks on the bill, and has urged Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to move slowly, allowing time for senators to build public support for their proposals.
Rubio said on multiple shows Sunday that he wasn’t backing the bill to boost his political prospects or to help the GOP improve its standing with minority voters, but rather because the nation’s immigration policy was broken.
“There are political ramifications to everything we do in Washington, but it’s not the reason to do it and it’s certainly not the reason I’m involved in this,” he said on “Meet the Press.”
“This is not about improving anyone’s poll numbers. This is very simple — I’m a senator. I get paid not to just give speeches, I get paid to solve problems. This is a serious problem here in Florida, this is a serious problem in America,” he added.
Rubio did say the next Republican presidential nominee would need to address immigration, even if his or her views on the issue didn’t match what Rubio has proposed.
“The nominee of our party needs to be someone that has answers to the problems our country faces, and immigration is a serious problem,” he said.

On CNN, Rubio said that he hadn’t considered if the success of the immigration reform bill could affect his own chances in 2016.
“I really haven’t. I have a job. My belief has always been that if I do my job and I do my job well, I’ll have options and opportunities in the future to do things, whether it’s run for reelection, run for something else or give someone else a chance at public service. And that’s how I view this issue,” Rubio said.
Kevin Bogardus contributed

Read more:
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

THE MARCO RUBIO PLAN -Rubio Outlines Bold Plan Giving 12 Million Illegals Legal Status

By Sandy Fitzgerald

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio addresses delegates as he introduces Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is developing a wide-ranging immigration reform plan — including steps to give more than 12 million illegals currently in the U.S. legal status — in an effort to seize the initiative on a contentious issue that polls show is hurting the Republican Party with the nation’s rapidly growing Hispanic population.

Rubio laid out the broad outline of his plan in an interview with the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, at the same time President Obama announced he would push a comprehensive immigration plan of his own this March.

Surprisingly, both hold similar goals – creating a process in which undocumented workers in the U.S. can gain status and at the same time create a potential path to citizenship at some point in the future.

New York’s Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer predicted immigration will soon take center stage in Washington, sweeping other issues to the side.

“This is so important now to both parties that neither the fiscal cliff nor guns will get in the way,” Schumer, who heads up bipartisan Congressional efforts on immigration, told The New York Times.

Republican lawmakers have told Newsmax that Rubio’s plan could pass muster, even with immigration hardliners, if the plan included a significant restitution for illegals to pay and began taxing them for their work here.

Critically, Republicans want to ensure newly documented workers don’t get citizenship too soon, with many advocating a minimum 10-year window before newly legal residents could acquire citizenship.

But the Republicans have to walk a political tightrope. After President Obama handily won re-election, garnering the support of 71 percent of Hispanic voters, the GOP has been anxious to woo this key swing ethnic group.

At the same time, Republicans fear that the nation’s delicate political balance would move in favor of the Democratic Party if election rolls swelled too quickly with new immigrant voters.

Rubio, in his interview, made clear that his Republican plan differs from the president’s in its phased approach. He argues it should create a series of legislative bills on immigration reform rather than one omnibus bill envisioned by the president.

The Florida Republican, one of the nation’s best-known Hispanic leaders and an oft-mentioned candidate for president in 2016, is preparing the first such bill, one that will provide legal status specifically for young illegal immigrants, known as Dreamers, who came to the United States as children.

Rubio’s plan also will include penalties for those already in the country, but notably doesn’t call for tougher border enforcement because he believes the sweeping reforms will deter future waves of illegals from landing on America’s shores.

Rubio, the son of Cuban-American exiles, is making immigration one of his primary issues in 2013, the Times reported Sunday.

Rubio says his piecemeal approach will be more successful, since lawmakers will get better results if the politically and practically tangled problems of the immigration system are handled separately.

Rubio, however, told reporters last week that the piecemeal approach was “not a line in the sand” for him.

He does, however, demand that any legalization measure should not be unfair to immigrants who played by the rules and applied to become residents through legal channels.

Specifically, Rubio’s proposals would allow illegal immigrants to gain temporary status so they could remain in the country and work, according to the Times. Then they would be sent to the back of the line in the existing system to apply to become permanent residents, and eventually citizenship.

Republicans “are going to have a struggle speaking to a whole segment of the population about our principles of limited government and free enterprise if they think we don’t want them here,” Rubio told the Times.

The Wall Street Journal revealed other key parts of Rubio’s plan:
Some 12 million illegals residing in the U.S. could begin the process of becoming legal by identifying themselves to federal authorities and being fingerprinted. If they have not committed any crime, demonstrate that they have been in the U.S. for a while, and then pay a fine and taxes, they could enter a “limbo status,” Rubio said. “Assuming they haven’t violated any of the conditions of that status,” newly documented workers can apply for permanent residency and potentially citizenship, he added.
A rise in the cap for people who bring investment or other skills into the country. Rubio noted the United States doesn’t produce enough science, math or engineering graduates to fill high-tech posts. The number of those people allowed in could be adjusted according to demand, Rubio noted, saying, “I don’t think there’s a lot of concern in this country that we’ll somehow get overrun by Ph. D.s and entrepreneurs.”
A weakening of the family reunification aspects of current immigration law. “I’m a big believer in family-based immigration,” he says. “But I don’t think that in the 21st Century we can continue to have an immigration system where only 6.5 percent of people who come here, come here based on labor and skill. We have to move toward merit and skill-based immigration.”
A guest-worker program to help meet the needs of American growers. Most of the 1.6 million agricultural laborers in the United States are illegal immigrants, and Rubio noted American produce could not be picked without them. He wants the country to have a number of visas that are provided through a guest-worker program that is sufficient to address growers’ needs for pickers. “The goal is to give American agriculture a reliable work force and to give protection to these workers as well,” Rubio told the Journal. “When someone is [undocumented] they’re vulnerable to being exploited.”
“Every country in the world has immigration laws and expects to enforce them, and we should be no different,” Rubio told the Journal.

Rubio said he wants the reform to come through in a comprehensive package of bills, possibly four or five instead of one omnibus, that would move through Congress concurrently because he knows how bad policy easily sneaks into big bills.

This isn’t Rubio’s first proposal on immigration matters. He is a co-sponsor for the E-Verify law, which if passed will require employers to check workers’ legal statuses against a federal database. Critics have complained the database is faulty and the law turns employers into immigration agents and pushes illegal workers into hiding.

Rubio, though, said workplace enforcement is essential for reform, especially if his plans for expanding guest-worker and high-tech visas come through.

“You want to protect those folks that are coming here,” he said. “You’re not protecting them if you allow their wages and their status to be undermined by further illegal immigration in the future.”

Rubio said he believes people who come here unlawfully with their parents should be accommodated quickly to gain a way to become naturalized citizens.

Rubio tried last year to get support for his immigration reform ideas, but his fellow Republicans didn’t like how certain provisions would allow some illegals to obtain citizenship.

But his efforts caught President Obama’s eye, and the president ended up offering two-year reprieves from deportation, helping him win the Hispanic vote.

But Rubio says Obama’s action may have set back the reform cause some. Still, he is ready to take on further immigration reform, even though comprehensive efforts failed twice already under George W. Bush’s administration, and Obama failed to act on reform in his first term.

Rubio told the Journal that Obama has “not done a thing” on reform and may want to keep it alive as a Democratic platform, but at the same time, “maybe he’s interested in his legacy” and will be willing to make a deal.

But immigration reform won’t be all the GOP needs to attract the Hispanic vote, Rubio said.

“The immigration issue is a gateway issue for Hispanics, no doubt about it,” he said. “No matter what your stance is on a number of other issues, if people somehow come to believe that you don’t like them or want them here, it’s difficult to get them to listen to anything else.”
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Marco Rubio: ‘Obama 2.0’ malfunctioning

By KEVIN ROBILLARD | 8/27/12 8:28 AM EDT

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who will introduce Mitt Romney as this week’s Republican National Convention, charged on Monday that President Barack Obama was abandoning his pledge to improve the tone of American politics.

“Barack Obama 2.0 is not the same person who was elected four years ago,” Rubio said on “Fox & Friends.” “Four years ago, I know people who voted for him who had never voted for a Democrat. They voted for him because they loved his story and they felt, ‘You know, we may not agree with him on everything, but he’s going to elevate American politics.’ Those days are long gone. This is as ugly and nasty a political campaign as I’ve seen in the last six cycles I’ve been involved in.”

Rubio, appearing from his hometown of Miami, also faces a more harrowing challenge than the introductory speech: He said he’s making the 4½-hour drive from Miami to Tampa with his four children. Flights across the state of Florida have been canceled because of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Read more:

Marco Rubio on Obama: Most ‘Divisive Figure in Modern American History’

Florida senator Marco Rubio slammed President Barack Obama in a South Carolina speech delivered last night to a large gathering of Republicans.

“For all the policy disagreements that we may have with the president, it is hard to understate how much he inspired people across this country four years ago, with his promises to unite America and lift it up,” Rubio said about Obama, referring to his 2004 DNC speech and 2008 presidential run.

But, Rubio said, President Obama has changed: “The man who today occupies the White House and is running for president is a very different person. We have not seen such a divisive figure in modern American history as we have over the last three and a half years.”

Rubio, who might be the next Republican vice presidential nominee, also said that Obama and his Democratic party are on a “destructive, counterproductive, and very unfortunate” path.

“The president and his party’s view of America’s government and our lives is a failed one. It hasn’t worked. His ideas that sounded so good in the classrooms of Harvard and Yale haven’t really worked out well in the real world,” said Rubio. “They get frustrated. They can’t win on their record, and so they’ve chosen to go down a different road, one that I think is destructive, counterproductive, and very unfortunate.”

Rubio also used the speech to introduce himself and talk about his personal story.

Senator Rubio: Obama Has “No Plan to Fix Medicare”

by Javier Manjarresby Javier Manjarres

The Pinellas County GOP headed by Chairman Jay J. Beyrouti, held their annual Lincoln Day Dinner with Senator Marco Rubio as their keynote speaker. The 500+ attendees to the dinner had to wait on Rubio, not because he was running on the infamous ‘Cuban Time’ but because his flight was cancelled due to inclement weather in Miami. In a bold move to save the event, Beyrouti arranged for a private plane to pick Rubio in Miami, and fly him up to the Tampa Bay area.

One of issues Rubio emphasized in his speech was Medicare. Rubio stated that there is “no bigger defender of Medicare” than him because his mother is currently receiving Medicare assistance and that is how she “gets her medicine.” Rubio also stated that Medicare enabled his father to die with dignity after a long bought with cancer back in 2010.

If you are in favor of leaving Medicare they way it is right now, you are in favor of bankrupting Medicare, that’s a fact- Senator Marco Rubio
In a must see speech Rubio smacked down President Obama as an opportunist that has “no plan to fix Medicare,” seeing it only as a “political tool.” Rubio also added that the only plan Obama and the Democrats had to fix Medicare was to wait for Republicans to the issue and then attack them on it.


Five Republican presidential candidates said they will boycott a proposed Univision-sponsored debate in January after allegations emerged that the Spanish-language network tried to blackmail Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio over a story about his brother-in-law.
GOP contenders Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, Jon Huntsman and Michele Bachmann all said Tuesday they will not participate in the planned debate until the alleged ethical breach involving Rubio — widely thought to be on the short list for the vice presidential nomination — is resolved, the Miami Herald reported.
According to the newspaper, which first posted a story on the allegations Saturday, Rubio repeatedly refused to appear on Univision’s liberal-leaning “Al Punto” show to discuss the Dream Act, which he staunchly opposes. Frustrated, the network dispatched its investigations unit during the summer to dig up a story on the 1987 cocaine arrest of Orlando Cicilia, Rubio’s brother-in-law. Both Rubio staffers and Univision insiders alleged the news director tried to make a deal with the senator: Appear on Al Punto and the network would kill or soften the story. Rubio declined, and the story ran on July 11, amid much hype.
Following the report, three Florida congressman sent open letters to Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus on Monday, calling the revelations “offensive, unacceptable and demonstrat[ing] a lack of journalistic integrity” and urging all GOP hopefuls to boycott the debate, which has not been officially announced.


by  Christopher Santarelli

During by far the most dramatic 24 hours of debt limit negotiations that have had a chokehold on American politics and government since January, Sen.Marco Rubio’s remarks followed by debate with Sen. John Kerry on the Senate floor this afternoon perhaps no better captures the frustration of freshman Republicans, hypocrisy of current political rhetoric, and inability of opposing sides to form real solutions.


“If my house was on fire, I can’t compromise about which part of the house I am going to save. You save the whole house, or it will all burn down.”

Sen. Rubio’s complete remarks on the Senate floor Saturday:

“Thank you, Mr. President.

I rise here on the Senate floor today to speak on the tremendous issue that’s captivated, and rightfully so, the attention of our country.

Let me start by saying that I do not enjoy nor relish the partisan role of attack dog. I never found any fun in that. I don’t think it’s constructive.  I don’t intend to become that here in the Senate.

I also have only been here for seven months, which means I haven‘t been here long enough to think any of the stuff that’s going on is normal. And I certainly don’t think any of the stuff that goes on around here too often is normal. So I think the fact that I’ve been here seven months has served me well in that regard.

Let me begin if I can. One of the things that I’ve noticed this week is that Washington is full of people from all over the world and all over the country that have traveled here this week to come and watch their government at work and see the monuments of the city and found themselves in the middle of this debate.

So I think it’s important to remind people what we’re debating because although it is a difficult and important issue, it is not a complicated one to understand. It’s pretty straight forward.

And here’s the way I would describe it the United States of America more or less — these are rough numbers but they’re accurate – spends about $300 billion a month. It has $180 billion a month that comes to the federal government through taxes and other sources of revenue and that means that in order to meet its bills at the end of every month it needs to borrow $120 billion.

Now, for much of the history of this country, there have been increases in the debt limit and the ability to borrow money. But what has happened over the last few years is that it’s no longer a routine vote because the people who give us our credit rating are saying too much of the money that you spend every month is borrowed and we want you to show us how over the next ten years you are going to borrow less as a percentage of what you spend.

And so that’s why, for years, where the debt limit was routine vote, it no longer can be. It’s not something that was made up in some conservative think tank. But the reality that we cannot continue to borrow 40% to 41% of every penny that the government spends has brought us to this point.

So you would think that seeing that, our government and our leaders here in both parties would react to that immediately and work on it.

And I’ve heard lot of talk today about delaying tactics and delaying votes. I would argue to you that this issue has been delayed at least for the last two and a half years.

In the two years before I even came here, this chamber neither proposed nor passed a budget. It is a startling figure that for the last two years this government has operated without a budget. So think about that. Two years have gone by without a budget. The first two years that the President was the president, no budgets.

Some people would say, well, that’s because of partisanship in Washington. Well, that’s not true. In the two years before I got here, both the House and Senate were controlled by members of the Democratic Party, which are the President’s party. In fact, in this chamber for at least one of those two years, 60 votes, 60 out of the 100 members here caucused with the Democrats. And as you recall, on Christmas Eve of the year 2009, they were able to pass a health care bill that was very controversial because they had the 60 votes in the President’s party.

Over two years, no budget. In fact you know how long it has been since this chamber proposed a budget? Forget passed a budget, proposed a budget? 822 days. That’s a long time. A lot of things have happened in the last 822 days, but proposing a budget is not one of them out of this chamber.

So then I got here – and we got here in January, seven months have passed, still no budget. Again, not budget passed, proposed, offered. Here’s our budget. Still no budget. 822 Days and every single day that I’ve been here.

Now, in the last seven days on this debt debate, we have finally seen a proposal from the esteemed senator from Nevada, the majority leader. You would think, has he brought it to the floor to vote? Not until last night. So, again, offered a proposal over the weekend and still for six days we sat around and what did we do around here? Nothing. It was never brought to a vote.

You would think these issues would have been worked on in January, February, March — nothing. This chamber has done nothing. You talk about delay tactics? They’ve been delaying for two and a half years.

Now the President doesn’t have the luxury of some of these things. He has to propose a budget by law, and he did. Let me tell you how ridiculous the budget was. Not a single member of this Senate voted for it, including the Democrats. It is a budget that didn’t lead with the debt limit; in fact, it increased the debt. That’s how absurd the budget was.

Where is the President plan? We haven’t seen it. We haven’t seen it.  Here‘s the President’s plan: a blank sheet of paper. He doesn’t have a plan. He hasn’t offered a plan. Again, if this were a Republican president, I would say the same thing.

I do not understand how an issue of this magnitude, of generational importance, the President of the United States has not offered a plan. If someone has seen the president’s plan, please send it to me because no one else has seen it. It does not exist.

So this has been the plan all along, by the way. The plan all along was not to take a position, to let the days count down until we got to this point with 72 hours to go and then force a vote on something that they wanted. I believe that that has been the plan the entire time. And you can see it carrying itself out.

You want to know why people all across America get grossed out about politics? It’s by watching this kind of stuff happen.

And instead let me tell you what we’ve seen for the last few days. First of all, for today and for much of this time I have heard all these attacks and name-calling. If we had $1 billion for every time I heard the words “tea party extremist,” we could solve this debt problem.

So all this name-calling, so I said let me read some quotes about this debt limit and I found some pretty extremist quotes.

Here’s one.

It says, “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better. I, therefore, intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt.” A quote from a tea party extremist, right? No. This is a quote from March 16 of 2006 from Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

I found another extremist quote. This one says, “Because this massive of accumulation of debt was predicted, because it was foreseeable, because it was unnecessary, because it was the result of willful and reckless disregard for the warnings that were given and for the fundamentals of economic management, I am voting against a debt limit increase.” Well, that must be from a tea party extremist member of the House, right? No. This is March 16, 2006, from Senator Joe Biden of Delaware.

And last but not least, here’s a quote from September 27 of 2007. It says, “I find it distasteful and disturbing to increase the debt limit yet again. Clearly we need to change course and this debt limit bill is just another reminder of that.” And that is from the distinguished Senator from Nevada, the majority leader. On that date in 2007.

And yet now these same quotes in this context, what we’re talking about raising the debt limit more than has ever been raised in one vote, is extremism? This name-calling is absurd and it sets this process back.

The other thing I hear — oh, it is not reasonable. This is a waste of time. This bill can’t pass the Senate when they talk about the House bill. So now it disqualifies the bill the fact that it can’t pass in the Senate.

Well, guess what? The Senate bill can’t pass in the Senate —  the Senate bill can’t pass in the Senate.”

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA): “Will the Senator yield for a question?”

Sen. Rubio: “Yes, I’ll yield.”

Sen. John Kerry: “I thank the Senator for doing that. That’s become somewhat unusual in the Senate today. So I truly appreciate it.

I would ask the Senator, as ironic as it may be that on occasion people in the past have indeed voted against a debt limit — both Republicans and Democrats alike — is it not true that in those situations those votes did not hold the nation hostage, did not come at a moment of enormous economic fragility as we are in today, and did not run the risk of default because it was going to pass overwhelmingly every time?

Is that not true?”

Sen. Rubio: “To the Senator from Massachusetts, I would say two things.

The first is that those votes — put it to you this way. If the Senator from Illinois at the time, Senator Obama, had had his way, we’d be in the same position we are in now. Because he had voted against the debt – and I recognize the President has now said that the debt limit is — he made a mistake and he wouldn’t have said that were he here today.

My point, I would say to the Senator from Massachusetts, is that rhetoric two years ago was not considered extremist language and now that rhetoric, which by the way I have not found. I think it is a myth. There may be a handful of people in the building both in the House and Senate perhaps that believe that the nation doesn’t have to raise the debt limit. But by and large everyone recognizes that something must be done about the debt limit.

What we have also said – I speak for myself. Let me not speak for any other member of this chamber or the next.

What I have also said is that it would be a terrible mistake to lose this opportunity to do something meaningful about the debt. And that the debt limit gives us an opportunity to do something meaningful about the debt, because the crisis that America faces is not one that I have defined.

But one that has been defined by the rating houses and rating agencies who have said if you do not get your spending in order, we don’t care whether you raise your debt limit or not, we will downgrade you.

And what that means for every American is an increase in their interest payments.”

Sen. John Kerry: “Will the Senator further yield for a question?”

Sen. Rubio: “Yes.”

Sen. Kerry: “Mr. President I appreciate what the Senator is saying. I would just say first of all that everybody understands the danger of the rating agencies right now.

The problem is, we got to reach across the aisle and negotiate. We’ve got to come to agreement. Right now there’s not a lot of negotiating going on.

I would ask the Senator, if he doesn’t agree that there is an enormous difference between — the Senator a moment ago said if he had gotten his way. But the whole point is, everybody knew he wasn’t about to get his way. That was a truly symbolic vote.

Today, however, is it not true we are on the brink of a default and the absence of negotiation or the absence of a settlement presents us with a far more serious consequence to the unwillingness to raise the debt ceiling today?”

Sen. Rubio: “To the Senator from Massachusetts I would say it‘s impossible to negotiate with someone who doesn’t offer a plan. How do you negotiate with someone who will not offer a plan and will not put it on the table?

But the finger pointing of who has a plan and who doesn’t have a plan is relevant, but it’s not the central issue here.

I would also say that in March of this year, March 30 to be exact of this year, I wrote an op-ed piece that ran in The Wall Street Journal and it outlined the things I was looking for to be a part of this debate. And I was told on March of this year that we didn’t have enough time to do all those things. Although later on we found out perhaps we did, this grand bargain and I am prepared, as I stand here today, if there is a meeting going on right after this, I’d love to be a part of it.

I am prepared to discuss the things that I believe we need to do not just to raise the debt limit. Raising the debt limit is the easiest thing. That’s one vote away. The hard thing is to show the world we are serious about putting our spending in order so we can show people we’ll able to pay our bills down the road.

And that is a combination of things that I have outlined very clearly, not just on March of this year in The Wall Street Journal, but in repeated speeches on this floor.

And those are the things, we need to do two things.

Number one is we need to grow our economy because while the debt is the biggest issue in Washington, jobs are the biggest issue facing America. And if we could get more people back to work, we would have more people paying taxes, and if we had more people paying taxes, we’d have more revenue for government.

And so that is the first thing we need to do, is figure out how to create jobs in America and I think there is bipartisan agreement on things we can do to do that.

The President himself mentioned regulatory reform as a necessity in the State of the Union. Let’s do it.

We’ve all talked about tax reform. Flattening and simplifying our tax code. And if there are things in that tax code that do not belong there because they are the product of good lobbying instead of good policy, then let’s go after those things. We’ve talked about that. Let’s talk about that.

I think we all agree that there has to be some changes in discretionary spending, but we also agree that doesn’t solve the problem. That’s a small piece of our overall budget. That we have to save Medicare because it goes bankrupt if we leave it the way it is. That we have to save Medicaid because it goes bankrupt if we leave it the way it is.

And I can tell you that history will back up what I’m about to say and that is that there is no government run by conservatives, Republicans, put whoever you want there, if you give government the opportunity to spend more money than it has, it will do it. It will do it every time.

That‘s why I believe there are at least 20 members of the Senate in the other party who have supported some version of the balanced budget amendment and yet it’s something we cannot even get a vote on much less discuss in the Senate.

So I believe there can be compromise on those outlines but here’s the last thing I would say.

I believe my time is about to expire so let me close with this.

Compromise is fantastic.

I would love nothing more than to leave this building tomorrow night having said the republic still works. I was able to stand shoulder to shoulder with people from states far from mine with views different from mine but who love their country so much that we were able to come together and save it when it faced this catastrophe.

I would love nothing more than compromise. But I would say to you that compromise that’s not a solution is a waste of time.

If my house was on fire, I can‘t compromise about which part of the house I’m going to save. You save the whole house or it will all burn down.

We either save this country or we do not.

And to save it, we must seek solutions.”