Sen. Marco Rubio is answering the increasing criticism from his presidential rivals over his voting record in the Senate during his campaign, declaring that he would not resign his Senate seat even though he’s missed votes.
“I’m running for president,” he said while speaking with reporters in New Hampshire today, who peppered him with questions about Jeb Bush’s recent criticism about Rubio’s missing votes. “These votes that are happening in the Senate, we’re not going to be able to make a difference until we have a new president and a better president.”
Speaking with reporters this morning, Bush pointed out that senators “should vote when there’s a reauthorization of the defense bill.”
But Rubio dismissed those criticisms as part of the political game played by his opponents.
“The candidates are going to say what they think they need to say in order to gain an advantage, but for me the race isn’t about the candidates it’s about the future of the country,” he said.
Bush and businessman Donald Trump have pointedly singled out Rubio for missing important votes in the Senate. Rubio currently leads the tally of votes missed by the current U.S. Senators running for president. Other senators running for president such as Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul have returned to Washington for important votes.
Rubio’s argument is that he can better serve the country and his constituents in Florida if he is out on the campaign trail every day trying to win the presidency.
“When I’m not in Washington, I’m here. I’m running for president, and I’m running for president because we’re not going to be able to turn this country around unless we have the right person in the White House,” he said.
When asked if he would resign from his position in the Senate, Rubio said he wouldn’t.
“No. I’m going to serve out my term, I’m proud to serve the people of Florida,” he said, pointing out that his office was still involved with constituent services and important issues in Washington.