Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) clashed early on in Wednesday’s primetime Republican candidate debate following a question on Rubio’s missed Senate votes.
“Marco, when you signed up for this, this was a six-year term, and you should be showing up to work,” Bush said. “What is this, like a French work week? You can campaign, or just resign and let someone else take the job”
Rubio shot back by noting that Bush had been saying at campaign stops that he was modeling his “furious comeback” after the party’s 2008 nominee, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
“I don’t remember you ever complaining about John McCain’s vote record,” Rubio said. “The only reason you’re doing it now is ’cause we’re running for the same position, and someone has convinced you that attacking me is gonna help you.”
The discussion was prompted by an editorial in the Florida Sun-Sentinel calling on Rubio to resign for missing more votes this year than any member of the Senate. Rubio said he read the editorial “with great amusement” and said that the newspaper endorsed both Barack Obama and John Kerry’s presidential campaigns despite them missing several votes.
“This is another example of the double standard that exists in this country between the mainstream media and the conservative movement,” Rubio said.
Watch the argument, as aired on Wednesday, below.