Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Florida Dems attack Marco Rubio while he continues to blast President Obama on Israel

in Top Headlines by

According to Marco Rubio, some of President Obama’s top political operatives were sent to Israel leading up to last week’s elections in an attempt to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“You know, he didn’t send anyone in any other country to try to influence the outcome of those elections,” the Florida senator told conservative talk-show host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday night. “And from Jeremy Bird down to others that were deeply and intricately involved in his campaigns in the past, he sent them down there to start the equivalent of a super PAC to try to oust Netanyahu. So I mean, what he’s saying is absurd in terms of it not being personal. That sounds pretty personal to me.”

Rubio gave his latest denunciation of Obama’s foreign policies in relations to Israel and Iran last week on the Senate floor, and he continues to be among the most forceful of potential GOP presidential candidates in going after the president in that fashion.

Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz spent a few minutes on Wednesday bashing Rubio for his domestic positions.

“At every turn, Marco has pandered to the Republican base, instead of doing what’s best for Floridians and folks across the country,” Wasserman said on a conference call with reporters. “His record makes clear he has no new ideas, and is simply a self-interested and opportunistic politician.”

Specifically she made reference to a favorite Democratic Party talking point: Rubio’s support as a member of the “Gang of 8” in the Senate two summers ago to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill, a bill that the senator seemed to run away from quickly after many of his grassroots Tea Party supporters showed extreme displeasure with.

Wasserman Schultz also trotted out a favorite soundbite that Rubio might regret if he does commit to a full-fledged shot at the presidency next year. That’s his 2011 line that Social Security and Medicare have “weakened us as a people.”

“He says he’s a new type of Republican, but all he’s done is champion the same, failed GOP policies that the American people have repeatedly rejected, time and again,” the DNC chair declared.

On Monday, the five-year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Rubio unveiled what he calls a three-part plan to serve as foundation for the post-Obamacare era.

It calls for providing an advanceable, refundable tax credit that all Americans can use to purchase health insurance. It calls for reforming insurance regulations to encourage innovation, and he says that he wants to turn Medicaid into a per-capita cap system, and transition Medicare to a “premium support system,” as has been previously proposed by Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.

“So while Marco Rubio goes on talk shows and travels across the country to present himself as a fresh face, here in Florida, we’re all too aware that he’s out of touch and apparently out of ideas to help our seniors and our hard-working families,” said Florida Alliance for Retired Americans President Tony Fransetta.

Regarding his future plans, Rubio told Hewitt that he intends to announce whether or not he’s running for president sometime in the next few weeks.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

Latest from Top Headlines

Go to Top