GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio has come under scrutiny for being an absentee lawmaker, and he didn’t help that image Wednesday when he skipped out on a meeting about the U.S. role in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Paris, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The Times reports the Florida senator missed a closed-door briefing entitled “The Aftermath of Paris: America’s Role,” because Rubio was en route to California to raise funds. He’s missed a “slew” of hearings and briefings on foreign relations and national security, though as a presidential candidate he has billed those matters as a priority.
Attendance has been a long-time issue for Rubio. Politico reported in February that Rubio had one of the worst attendance records among his colleagues. At the time, Rubio’s spokesperson blamed it on the fact he hadn’t moved his family to Washington, D.C. from Florida. When addressing the same issue in July, the spokesperson blamed it on the pressure of running for president.
Rubio has elicited criticism from fellow Republican candidates like Donald Trump, and Democrats alike for his attendance.
“Marco Rubio has a responsibility to do his job for his constituents and the nation as a United State Senator,” said Democratic National Committee spokesperson said Christina Freundlich. “If he doesn’t have time to be a senator while running for president, he should resign and give the job to someone who can actually focus on the threats we face. He excuses his poor voting record by saying the votes he misses don’t matter, but it’s especially galling when he’s missing national security briefings in order to attend ritzy West Coast fundraisers.”