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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Rubio says Supreme Court is big reason he ran again

Sen. Marco Rubio in Fort Myers on Wednesday

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Sen. Marco Rubio in Fort Myers on Wednesday



U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio told supporters in Fort Myers on Wednesday that one of the main reasons he got back into the race for the Senate was out of his concern that Democrats would control who would next be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rubio, at the Republican Party of Florida's new victory office in Lee County, said he had a lot of reasons to rejoin the race in June, but focused on the eventual replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia who died earlier this year.

"And now the balance of power in the U.S. Supreme Court is going to be determined by the next Senate and the next president who will appoint but the next senate must confirm," Rubio said.

Rubio went further, warning that if Democrat Patrick Murphy wins in November, he would be a "rubber stamp for Hillary's agenda, if God forbid she were elected." And like he did earlier in the week, warned supporters that if Democrats win the majority in November, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is in line to become the Senate Majority Leader.

Though Rubio faces a Republican Primary on Tuesday against Manatee County homebuilder Carlos Beruff, he said nothing during his nearly 7 minute speech played live on Facebook of the contest, instead focusing on the general election regardless of which Democrat wins the primary on Aug. 30.

If his remarks in Fort Myers showed anything, it was that Rubio expects Murphy to be his opponent. He repeated past criticisms of Murphy, saying he has never had to struggle a day in his life and has been "highly unaccomplished" as a member of Congress since he was first elected in 2012.

Murphy's campaign responded by reminding reporters that Rubio missed numerous votes in the Senate while running for president.

"He cares more about his own political ambition than showing up to work and fighting for Floridians," Murphy spokeswoman Galia Slayen said. "Missing Marco's only accomplishment is leaving Floridians without a voice in Washington and there's no doubt he will be a rubber stamp for Donald Trump's dangerous agenda."

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 4:28pm]


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