Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said during Thursday’s Republican debate that it was “unfair” for Democrats to politicize the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
“I don’t think someone woke up one morning and said let’s figure out how to poison the water system to hurt someone,” Rubio said of the water contamination that exposed thousands of children to unsafe levels of lead.
The Florida senator called the water crisis “a terrible thing” and said that elected officials must be held accountable. But he also accused Democrats of turning the lead poisoning scandal into a “partisan issue.”
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) ran ads in Michigan that focused on the crisis and railed against local officials, including Gov. Rick Synder (R), for failing to protect the health of their constituents.
“It’s absurd,” Rubio fumed about the Democratic response. “It’s outrageous.”
As the Republican candidates spoke inside the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit, activists from Flint gathered outside to call for the governor’s resignation.