Senator Marco Rubio melts the hearts of a lot of Republicans. He is a smooth-talking linguist who can take the fears of the world and make them disappear with some soothing rhetoric. Nobody paints a grandiose picture with words quite like this man.
Unfortunately, this is about all he is good at. Elected to represent Florida in the United States Senate, he cannot even be depended upon to fulfill this duty.
“Rubio, a candidate for the GOP presidential nomination, has missed 77 of 263 roll call votes this year, through Wednesday, an absentee rate of nearly 30%. That’s more than any other senator.”
That includes fellow Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, as well as Independent-Turned-Democrat Bernie Sanders.
USA Today further notes that since June 1, Senator Rubio “has been absent for 60% of votes, as he’s stepped up his appearances at campaign events and fundraisers.”
The only other Senators who come close to the level of neglect for their elected position are Senators Graham and Cruz, who have missed 24% and 22% of total votes this year, respectively.
In terms of responsibility and respect for their elected office, these three Senators would be wise to follow the lead of Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul. Senator Sanders has missed only nine votes and Senator Paul only three.
Senator Rubio’s aides respond to criticism by stating this is not an unusual trend for Senators campaigning for President. In defense of his neglect, they cite three examples to USA Today: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Kerry.
These are Senator Rubio’s aspirations?
CNN reported that Senator Rubio further stated he will do his elected job when his “vote is going to make a difference or an issue of major national significance or importance.”
National Defense Authorization Act? Defense spending isn’t an issue he’s going to take time for, although he likes to sell himself as a strong leader on foreign policy. The hawk was too busy selling himself on the campaign trail.
Legislation to defund Planned Parenthood? He missed that one, too, declaring it was just a show.
In the same CNN article, Senator Rubio defends this astonishing neglect as stating “I am going to miss votes, I’m running for president.”
Apparently Senators Sanders and Paul missed the memo. Despite political differences, both individuals have refused to neglect their position to advance their personal political aspirations. Instead, they’ve balanced their respective messages and elected duties.
At the end of the day, America needs a leader, not a talker. Senator Rubio states he’s not like President Barack Obama, but in a lot of ways he is. He’s a smooth talker who can make his base feel good about life, simply by talking. Substance, however, is lacking. This is reflected in his own aides’ stated aspirations to be like Clinton, Obama, or Kerry.