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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio: 'I'm proud of my service and public record'

 Marco Rubio meets the press at Saint Anselm College

Alex Leary | Times

Marco Rubio meets the press at Saint Anselm College

4

February

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Marco Rubio likened the avalanche of criticism coming his way from Govs. Bush and Christie to "desperation."

"I'm not too worried about it," Rubio told a swarm of reporters Thursday afternoon after at town hall at Saint Anselm College.

Asked about Rick Santorum failing to name an accomplishment of his, Rubio said, "Let's be fair to Rick. Rick has spent the better part of the last year and a half running for president. He just endorsed us last night. So I wouldn't expect him to be entirely familiar with my record.

"Bottom line is, I'm proud of my service and public record. We have real achievements, not just in the Senate but in my time as speaker of the Florida House and as a state legislator.

"But this campaign is about future, not the past."

Rubio denied he was misleading voters by saying he "led" the Obamacare "risk corridor" effort, a claim that fact checkers and fellow Republican lawmakers say is false. "No, I led the effort to put that in there. I was the first one to bring it up. I was the one who pushed for it for two and a half years. ... Did I type it on my own computer? No. But did I actually get it done? Absolutely."

On Chris Christie's implication Rubio is too extreme because he does not favor a rape exception for abortion, Rubio said: "I'm proudly pro-life and I won't apologize for being pro-life. I understand it's a difficult issue ... but I have to chose between the right of a person to choose what to do with their body with the right of an unborn chilld to live and I chose to defend the right of an unborn child to live." Rubio then called Hillary Clinton an "extremist" on abortion issues.

Rubio listed a number of accomplishments, pointing to a bill sanctioning Hezbollah. Bush today noted that Rubio missed the vote on that measure. 

UPDATE: The measure passed by unanimous consent so there was no vote. Bush said Rubio was fundraising that day. A Rubio spokesman did not respond to a question whether the lawmaker was present.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 4, 2016 6:35pm]

    

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