Forget either of the Democrats challenging U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio or even his Republican primary opponent on the ballot next week. During a pair of campaign stops in North Florida, Rubio made clear who he is really trying to stop: Chuck Schumer.
At a pair of speeches spread over 70 miles and six hours on Monday, Rubio told audiences that a big reason he finally decided to run for re-election was because of Schumer, the New York Democrat who would become the new Senate Majority Leader if Democrats win back the majority in November.
“If we lose the Senate in Florida, that means we probably lose the Senate,” Rubio told 60 supporters at meeting in Tallahassee. “That means Chuck Schumer becomes majority leader. That means all of the of these public policies that Barack Obama has put into place remain in place for the foreseeable future.”
Hours later in Jackson County, Rubio similarly told more than 200 people at a local Republican Party fundraising dinner that if he had not run, he feared it would make it easier for Schumer to become the leader of the Senate. That in turn he said would give the New York Senator too much say in picking the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who died earlier this year.
“And I promise you that if Chuck Schumer is in charge of the U.S. Senate, the person they will confirm in that Senate will be nothing like the kind of justice we want and nothing like the kind of justice Scalia was,” Rubio said.
Rubio said after his speech in Tallahassee that he just wants people to understand that if Schumer is the majority leader he will become a rubber stamp for Hillary Clinton agenda if she wins the White House.
“That’s not the direction America wants to go in. I believe that,” Rubio said. “That’s the practical implication of losing the majority in the Senate. Chuck would be the majority leader. And I think Chuck stands for issues – stands for public policies ideas – that the majority of Floridians don’t support.”