The Washington Times - October 17, 2013, 11:53AM

Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he voted against the deal to reopen the government and increase the debt limit because his concerns over Obamacare and other aspects of government trumped his need to score points with the media and pundits.

“This is about saving the country; this is about making sure America is moving in the right direction,” Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican, told Fox News.

SEE RELATED: Congress agrees to end shutdown

Headlines and polls have suggested the GOP has suffered greatly from the recent stalemate, the result of a failed strategy to defund Obamacare as part of any short-term spending deal.

But GOP lawmakers said that they were pursuing fairness for all under the health care law and that President Obama and Democrats did not extend a hand to negotiate with House Republicans.

Mr. Rubio argued that Democrats have “made it harder, not easier,” to arrive at common ground on issues such as spending and immigration reform.

“We’re going to lose the American Dream … and we’re going to have to answer for that,” he said.