The Washington Times - May 16, 2013, 09:53AM

Whether it’s the targeting of conservative groups or the secret gathering of journalists’ phone logs, President Obama has created a “culture of intimidation” throughout the federal government and taken part in a “deliberate abuse of power,” Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday.

“The president doesn’t have clean hands in this,” Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican, said during an interview on Fox News. “This organization of his, this administration, has created a culture of intimidation. It’s his campaign; it’s this White House; it’s basically an attempt to muzzle anyone who is their political opponent. … They’re not content with just the merits of the issue. They want to convince people that anyone who doesn’t agree with them on any issue is a bad person.”

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Echoing the comments of many other Republicans in recent days. Mr. Rubio said that the Internal Revenue Service’s singling out of tea party and other conservative groups clearly constitutes a crime.

He added that Mr. Obama, even from the White House, continues to engage in “old-school, hardball politics” that have “no place” in the governing of the country.