Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) on Tuesday defended himself from recent attacks from his fellow Republican presidential candidates that he has missed votes in the Senate, arguing that he can’t accomplish much as a senator anyway.
“I have missed votes this year,” Rubio said when asked about his voting record during an Iowa town hall. “You know why? Because while as a senator I can help shape the agenda, only a president can set the agenda. We’re not going to fix America with senators and congressmen.”
The Florida senator has previously explained that he must miss votes because he is running a presidential campaign. And Rubio has also expressed dislike for the Senate, telling the Washington Post in October that he is “frustrated” with the pace of the legislature.
But in 2013, Rubio painted a different picture of the Senate. During an interview with radio host Laura Ingraham about border security, Rubio said that the administration cannot act without the legislature.
“Whatever the administration says might be very interesting, but they’re not the lawmaker,” Rubio said. “I know that sometimes in the last few years we’ve lost focus on that in this country. Even the press and the way it covers the process has come to believe that somehow the president’s job is to create laws. That’s not the way the republic works. Lawmakers is the legislative branch — the House and the Senate. The president’s job is to either sign that law, veto it, or let it go into law without doing anything about it.”
Listen to Rubio’s 2013 comments, flagged by the progressive opposition research group American Bridge 21st Century: