Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio has been under fire for his poor Senate attendance record, and over the weekend the Florida senator offered up an explanation as to why he’s missed important votes and intelligence briefings.
“Because I’m running for president,” Rubio said bluntly in response to a question from a voter. “I’m here in New Hampshire talking to you.”
Rubio added that he is frustrated with the slow pace at which Congress seems to operate in terms of solving the country’s biggest problems. He lamented that very little has happened in the upper chamber even after the GOP won the majority in the 2014 midterm elections.
“What I concluded is nothing is going to change here unless we put the right person in the White House,” Rubio said. “And that’s why I decided to run for president. And to run for president means you are going to miss votes. … I’m not on vacation. I’m here talking to each of you about the future of America.”
Rubio made similar comments over the weekend in an interview with CNN, in which he said constituent service is the most important job of a senator.
“I’m running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again,” Rubio told CNN. “A lot of these votes won’t mean anything. They’re not going to pass. And even if they did, the president would veto them.”
Jeb Bush, Jr., the son of GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush, recently went after Rubio on his Senate attendance, saying he should “either drop out or do something, but we’re paying you to do something, it ain’t run for president.”
Watch the video above.
[Image via screengrab]
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