Is Marco Rubio ‘Ripping Off’ the State of Florida?
Policy + Politics

Is Marco Rubio ‘Ripping Off’ the State of Florida?

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

A major Florida newspaper has a message for Republican presidential contender Marco Rubio: Either do your job or quit.

On Tuesday the editorial board of the Sun-Sentinel declared that it’s fed up with Rubio’s chronic absence from the Senate as he campaigns for the White House. The board took him to task for his comments in recent interviews that he’s “frustrated” with the upper chamber and that “voting is not the most important part of the job” when compared to constituent service.

Related: Should Marco Rubio Be Fired? By His Own Standards, Maybe

“If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it,” the editors wrote.

“Let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day’s work,” they added. “Don’t leave us without one of our two representatives in the Senate for the next 15 months or so.”

“You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems,” the terse editorial states. “Plus you take a $10,000 federal subsidy — declined by some in the Senate — to participate in one of the Obamacare plans, though you are a big critic of Obamacare. You are ripping us off, senator.”  

The piece concludes, “Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it.”

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Rubio’s truancy rate, which is not only the highest among the various senators running for president but the highest in the entire Senate, has increasingly become an issue on the campaign trail.

The Sun-Sentinel noted that “two other candidates — Sens. Rand Paul [R-KY] and Bernie Sanders [I-VT] — have missed only 10 Senate votes during their campaigns for the White House.”

“And you want us to take you seriously as a presidential candidate?” the editorial board asked.

The timing of the editorial couldn’t be worse for Rubio, who has seen his poll numbers rise in recent weeks.

Rubio and the GOP’s other top-tier candidates are set to clash Wednesday night in the third Republican presidential debate. While the event is expected to hinge on the battle between Donald Trump and Ben Carson, the newspaper’s harsh critique gives Rubio’s rivals an opportunity to needle him on his absenteeism if given the chance.

Related: Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio Throw Tantrums Over Low Poll Numbers

It’s worth noting that in the summer of 1996, then Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) resigned after 35 years in Congress to devote all his energy to the race with incumbent Bill Clinton.

The move turned out to be problematic, though. Clinton’s campaign soon released an ad that portrayed Dole as a quitter.