Rubio Lambasts FL Newspaper, Debate Moderators as ‘Evidence’ of ‘Bias that Exists in the American Media'

During Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate on CNBC, Senator Marco Rubio (Fl.) excoriated the Florida newspaper The Sun-Sentinel and debate co-moderator Carl Quintanilla for raising questions about his young age and calls for him to resign from the Senate due to missed votes as examples of “a double standard” and “bias that exists in the American media today.”

Turning to Rubio, Quintanilla first attacked him over the age in which he’s launching a presidential bid by first describing him as “a young man in a hurry ever since you won your first election for your 20s.” 

After noting his support for the failed Senate immigration plan, Quintanilla lectured to Rubio that he should “slow down” and “get a few more things done first” before running for president: “Now, you're skipping more votes than any Senator to run for president. Why not slow down, get a few more things done first, or at least finish what you start?”

Quintanilla reloaded and fired again at Rubio by invoking an editorial by The Sun-Sentinel in South Florida that urged him to resign his position in the Senate due to his presidential campaign: “So, when The Sun-Sentinel says Rubio should resign, not rip us off, when they say people of Florida sent you to Washington to do your job, when they say you act like you hate your job, do you?”

It was clear at that point that Rubio had enough as he first shot back that he “read that editorial today with a great amusement” as “[i]t’s actually evidence of a bias that exists in the American media today.”

While Quintanilla tried to interject, Rubio wouldn’t let him have it and continued his mini-crusade against the media and particularly The Sun-Sentinel’s double standard when it came to ex-Democratic presidential candidates missing more Senate votes than he has: 

Back in 2004, one of my predecessors by the name of Bob Graham, a Democrat, ran for president, missing over 30 percent of his votes. I don't recall them calling for his resignation. Later that year, in 2004, John Kerry ran for president, missing closer to 60 to 70 percent of his votes. I don’t recall The Sun-Sentinel — in fact, The Sun-Sentinel endorsed him. In 2008, Barack Obama missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes and the same newspaper endorsed him again. 

Rubio concluded with this sharp attack on the liberal media: “So, this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country, between the mainstream media and the conservative movement.”

The relevant portion of the transcript from CNBC’s Republican presidential debate on October 28 can be found below.

CNBC’s Republican Presidential Debate
October 28, 2015
8:36 p.m. Eastern

CARL QUINTANILLA: This one’s for Senator Rubio. You’ve been a young man in a hurry ever since you won your first election for your 20s. You’ve had a big accomplishment in the Senate, an immigration bill providing a path to citizenship that conservatives in your party hate and even you don't support anymore. Now, you're skipping more votes than any Senator to run for president. Why not slow down, get a few more things done first, or at least finish what you start? 

REPUBLICAN SENATOR MARCO RUBIO (Fl.): Well, that’s an interesting question. That’s exactly what the Republican establishment says, too. Why don’t you wait in line. Wait for what? This country is running out of time. We can’t afford to have another four years like the last eight years. Watching this broadcast tonight and millions of people are living paycheck to paycheck. They're working as hard as everything have, everything costs more and they have not had a raise in decades. You have small businesses that are struggling. For the first time in 35 years, we have more businesses closing than starting. We have a world that’s out of control and has grown dangerous and a president weakening our military and making the foreign policy unstable and unreliable in the eyes of our allies and our adversaries continue to grow stronger. We have a — they say there’s no bipartisanship in Washington. We have a $19 trillion bipartisan debt and it continues to grow as we borrow from countries that do not like us for countries we cannot afford. The time to act is now, the time to turn the page is now. If we don't ask now, we'll be the first generation that leaves our children worse off than ourselves. 

QUINTANILLA: So, when The Sun-Sentinel says Rubio should resign, not rip us off, when they say people of Florida sent you to Washington to do your job, when they say you act like you hate your job, do you? 

RUBIO: Yeah, let me say. I read that editorial today with a great amusement. It’s actually evidence of a bias that exists in the American media today.

QUINTANILLA:  Do you hate your job? 

RUBIO: Let me answer your question on The Sun-Sentinel today. Back in 2004, one of my predecessors by the name of Bob Graham, a Democrat, ran for president, missing over 30 percent of his votes. I don't recall them calling for his resignation. Later that year, in 2004, John Kerry ran for president, missing closer to 60 to 70 percent of his votes. I don’t recall The Sun-Sentinel — in fact, The Sun-Sentinel endorsed him. In 2008, Barack Obama missed 60 or 70 percent of his votes and the same newspaper endorsed him again. So, this is another example of the double standard that exists in this country, between the mainstream media and the conservative movement.

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates Media Bias Debate Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNBC Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel Orlando Sentinel Florida Video Carl Quintanilla Marco Rubio
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