Marco Rubio forced to close second Florida office in five days to escape protesting constituents
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had to vacate his second office in less than a week due to protests at his offices. Last Friday, Rubio had to close out his office in Tampa after being there since 2014, and now he is being booted from his Jacksonville office.
According to Roll Call, protestors have gathered outside Rubio’s seven statewide office buildings weekly to take a stand against President Donald Trump’s agenda, but had to leave his Jacksonville and Tampa offices because the protests were also impacting local businesses.
“In Jacksonville, these protestors weren’t just impacting our two person office, they were impacting the children being served next door at a pediatric behavioral clinic, which is why we understand the decision not to renew our lease,” spokeswoman Christina Mandreucci said in a statement.
Mandreucci further noted that neither office is used for campaign or political purposes, but instead to help constituents with Medicare, Social Security and veterans’ benefits.
The statement continued, “Those who disagree with President Trump and Senator Rubio certainly have a right to exercise their First Amendment rights, and most of them have done so in a productive and respectful way. But unfortunately, some of them have chosen to do so in a manner that potentially hinders their fellow Floridians’ ability to receive help from our office.”
Rubio has spent recent weeks avoiding holding a town hall for his constituents, which is possibly why some protestors have been stationed outside his offices. According to Naples Daily News, Rubio has chosen to avoid town halls because he claimed liberal activists want to “heckle and scream at me in front of cameras.”
He told reporters last week that he is “always interested in opportunities to engage with constituents in a respectful and productive way,” but when it comes to a town hall event to hear from Florida voters, Rubio said, “They’re not town halls anymore.”