Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has missed 23 of the Senate's 29 votes since the first Republican debate of the 2016 election cycle. For weeks, his opponents have hammered him for his absenteeism, with Jeb Bush's son suggesting two weeks ago that Rubio "either drop out [of the presidential race] or do something" in the Senate. "We're paying you to do something," said Jeb Bush Jr. "It ain't run for president."
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board agrees.
In a ferocious editorial, the paper makes the same demand. "Marco Rubio should resign, not rip us off."
Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We've got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.
If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.
The editorial notes Rubio's Senate salary — $174,000 a year — and compares Rubio's attendance unfavorably with Sens. Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, both of whom are also running for president but who have not seen the same level of absenteeism. (Since July, Paul has missed 12 of 81 votes; Sanders has missed four.)
The editorial takes issue with Rubio's claim that his votes don't matter anyway. Such a claim is "unpersuasive — and incredible, really," the paper writes.
Since the beginning of the year, Rubio has missed 99 of 291 votes, according to GovTrack.us. Of those 99, 48 were votes in which the prevailing majority won with 60 votes or less; in three cases, the margin was five votes or less. On Tuesday, he missed a vote on the controversial Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA — and was one of four people not to vote on an amendment that was rejected by a two-vote margin.
The Sun-Sentinel also bashed Rubio for appearing in the Senate to criticize federal workers who weren't doing their jobs, something we noted last week. "You said, 'there is really no other job in the country where if you don't do your job, you don't get fired,'" the editorial board wrote. "With the exception of your job, right?"
"By choosing to stay in the Senate and get the publicity, perks and pay that go with the position — without doing the work — you are taking advantage of us," they wrote, concluding, "Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it."