A Democratic super PAC and one of the nation’s most prominent unions released an ad criticizing Sen. Marco Rubio’s views on Social Security.
The Florida Republican is running for re-election after an unsuccessful bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
Senate Majority PAC and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees both cut an ad criticizing Rubio for saying programs like Social Security “weakened us as a people.”
The remark came from a 2011 speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where Rubio spoke about social programs and said that before they were established, “it was institutions and society that assumed the role of taking care of one another” and that neighbors took care of neighbors.
The ad suggests Rubio made these remarks because he has received almost $1 million from the insurance industry. That figure is close to the $939,053 that the Center for Responsive Politics said Rubio has received from the industry.
Florida retirees, who traditionally vote Republican, are the likely targets of the ad. A Pew Research Center analysis from last year found that more than 19 percent of Florida’s population is older than 65, the age for Social Security eligibility.
Rubio spokesman Michael Ahrens criticized the ad and said Rubio would not endanger Social Security.
“Marco’s own mother relies on Social Security as her sole source of income,” Ahrens said in a statement, also criticizing Murphy and AFSCME for opposing legislation by Rubio that would make it easier to fire officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“Florida veterans can’t afford someone who puts union bosses ahead of working for them,” he said.