- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 30, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In “you’ve got to be kidding me” news: Marco Rubio, on CNN Monday, refused to commit to a six-year Senate term if he should win re-election in Florida.

“No one can make that commitment because you don’t know what the future’s gonna hold in your life personally or politically,” Mr. Rubio told the cable news network, leaving the door open to another potential White House bid in 2020.

Mr. Rubio is expected to win the Florida primary on Tuesday and will be facing a re-election bid against Democrat Patrick Murphy, who is favored in his race. Although Mr. Rubio currently enjoys a 6-percentage point lead in an average of state polls compiled by Real Clear Politics, his re-election is anything but a sure thing — because many Floridians are unsure he actually wants the job.

With good reason.

While running for president, Mr. Rubio said he wouldn’t run for re-election in the Senate, but would return to live as a private citizen. When announcing he’d flip-flopped on that decision, and would, after-all, run for re-election, Mr. Murphy seized the moment, saying in a statement that Mr. Rubio “abandoned his constituents,” in his run for the White House, “and now is treating them like a consolation prize.”

Too far off?

Mr. Rubio’s voting record in the Senate became an issue in the presidential, when Mr. Trump charged in a debate: “This guy has the No. 1 absentee record in the United States (Senate). He doesn’t show up to vote.”

PolitiFact rated the claim as “Mostly true.”

At a rally in Iowa, Mr. Rubio admitted as much and voiced his doubts about his position in Congress.

“You know why [I missed votes]? Because while as a senator I can help shape the agenda, only a president can set the agenda,” he explained, adding: “We’re not going to fix America with senators and congressmen.”

OK. Sounds like a job you want to keep.

After a Washington Post article cited an unnamed source close to Mr. Rubio saying he actually hated being a senator, Mr. Rubio didn’t quite agree.

“I don’t know that ‘hate’ is the right word,” Mr. Rubio said in the story. “I’m frustrated.”

So, like any reasonable opponent, Mr. Murphy is capitalizing on the fact that Mr. Rubio doesn’t really want the Senate job and is using it as a stepping stone to the White House.

On Monday, Mr. Rubio made that clear.

In a tweet responding to Mr. Rubio’s comments on CNN that “no one” could make a six-year Senate guarantee, Mr. Murphy wrote simply: “I can.”

Good work, Mr. Rubio. Way to make your ambition blind.


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