- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, pushed back on comments President Obama made during a stop in Ohio on Wednesday in which the president endorsed the idea of mandatory voting in the country.

“Look, first, I don’t put anything past him,” Mr. Rubio said on Fox News’ “Hannity” program. “I mean, there are a lot of things that have already happened that I never thought I would see, and so this would not surprise me if indeed that’s the way they move forward on it.”

“But here’s the point he refuses to point out or that he misses: not voting is also a legitimate choice that some people make,” Mr. Rubio continued. “I wish more people would participate in politics, too, but that is their choice — that is the choice of living in a free society.”

Mr. Rubio, a possible 2016 GOP presidential candidate, said it wouldn’t surprise him if Mr. Obama moves forward at some point before he leaves office on an agenda like that.

Mr. Obama said Wednesday that it would be “transformative” if everybody voted.

“That would counteract [campaign] money more than anything,” he said. “If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country.”

SEE ALSO: Obama calls for mandatory voting in U.S.

After his party was trounced in the 2014 midterms in part due to poor turnout among Democrats, Mr. Obama said last year that he did indeed hear those people who didn’t vote.

“To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you,” he said. “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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