CLEVELAND, Ohio — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a 2016 GOP presidential candidate, skipped a classified briefing in the U.S. Senate to campaign for president here on Wednesday.
“Rubio missed a classified briefing today on Iran—a signature issue for him—as he held a rally w/ Josh Mandel here in Cleveland,” Bloomberg Politics’ Sahil Kapur wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Rubio’s spokesman Alex Conant has not responded to a Breitbart News inquiryas to why the senator skipped the classified Iran briefing to campaign.
But earlier in the day, while speaking to a rally appearing alongside Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Rubio joked that the reason he skipped the briefing was to come to Cleveland to try to convince Cavaliers star LeBron James to come back to Miami to play for the Miami Heat.
“I came in early today trying to convince Lebron James to come back to Miami,” Rubio told what the Daily Caller’s Alex Pappas described as “roughly 400 cheering supporters” he gathered inside a barroom.
“Don’t worry. It didn’t work. It didn’t work,” Rubio quickly added.
Rubio has made Iran a centerpiece of his campaign, but skipping briefings on the issue to campaign for president isn’t going to be a very popular thing for him—or anyone—among the Republican electorate.
Rubio, nonetheless, made the cut for this first debate and will be one of the candidates on the main stage here in Cleveland on Thursday evening. The Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier, and Chris Wallace will be moderating the debate. It is unclear at this point if they’ll ask Rubio about skipping national security meetings to campaign.
Rubio, as Politico has reported earlier this year, has one of the worst records of attendance of all lawmakers on Capitol Hill.