WASHINGTON — Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) praised himself and his fellow Republicans this week for successfully defending the Affordable Care Act from a coordinated attack by the Democratic Party. According to Rubio, the recent shutdown of the federal government was an attempt by Democrats to force Republicans to gut the ACA, an attempt he claims to have almost single-handedly thwarted.
“I was never in favor of shutting down the government or of defunding the government,” said Rubio on “Fox New Sunday” with Chris Wallace. “I was in favor of voting to fund the government fully.”He went on to argue that the blame for the government shutdown rests solely with President Obama. “Obama took the country to brink of economic collapse in an attempt to get rid of that law. Thank God I was here to save the day.”
His statements have left some of his fellow GOP Senators scratching their heads. While many see Texas GOP Senator Ted Cruz as the ultimate mastermind behind the shutdown, Rubio, along with fellow Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY), was seen as one of the main cheerleaders leading to the government shutdown.
“It’s kind of weird hearing him say he rescued Obamacare,” admitted Lee. “Over the summer he was right with us in tearing down the government unless health insurance was kept out of the hands of poor people. And I don’t think I’m making that up. There’s video and stuff.”
In fact, a search quickly pulled up the fact that over the summer, Rubio refused to back any funding package for the federal government that would allow the Affordable Care Act to go into effect. He was very specific in August in an interview with conservative radio host Mark Levin. “On this issue we’re willing to fight no matter what the consequences, politically or otherwise [are],” he said. “You cannot say you are against Obamacare if you are willing to vote for a law that funds it.”
When told that he had, in fact, championed shutting down the government unless Obamacare was defunded, Rubio adamantly shook his head. “No, I didn’t,” he said.
He then awkwardly lurched to the side for a drink of water.