The Democrats who could face Sen. Marco Rubio in November’s election accused the Florida Republican of using the Senate seat to further his presidential ambitions.
Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is the Democratic establishment’s favored candidate, said Rubio had betrayed his Florida constituents by missing votes, running for president, and then waffling for weeks on whether he wanted to return to the Senate.
“Simple question: How can Floridians trust him, someone who continually breaks his word?” Murphy asked on a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
The campaign of Rep. Alan Grayson, who is running against Murphy, said Rubio was simply using the Senate seat as a launching pad to run for president again.
Rubio ran a competitive race for the GOP presidential nomination before dropping out in March after losing the Florida primary to Manhattan mogul Donald Trump. He initially said he did not plan to seek re-election but said he began to reconsider after the June 12 shooting in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 injured.
“It’s shameful that Marco is trying to use the Orlando tragedy to further his 2020 presidential ambitions from a Senate seat that he’s barely sat in,” Grayson’s campaign manager Mike Ceraso said.