Ben Smith: CNBC’s Larry Kudlow pressed Marco Rubio hard and repeatedly today on the question of offshore drilling, prompting the candidate’s reluctant confirmation that he opposes a moratorium on offshore drilling, opposing forcing BP to stop paying dividends to its shareholders, and supports continued drilling off Florida’s coasts in the long run — an issue that seems to offer Charlie Crist his clearest shot at victory in the Senate race.
“In the long term, offshore drilling has to be part of our overall energy strategy,” Rubio said. “Other countries are going to do it, and if they have an accident that’s going to impact [the U.S.] just the same.”
Rubio said he supports drilling “so long as it can be done safely,” citing the “severe economic costs” of ending drilling.
Rubio also said he opposes congressional action to prevent BP from paying dividends.
“I’ve never been in favor of interfering in the markets,” he said.
Kudlow summed the segment up at the end: “Mr. Crist is going to run against offshore drilling and you are going to run in favor of it, do I have that right?”