Appearing remotely with MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was abruptly cut off by the host after he tried to put a positive spin on the too-late response by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to the coronavirus pandemic that is currently devastating his state.
Following a discussion on the difficulties the administration is having getting funds to needy small businesses, the MSNBC host abruptly changed gears and asked, “Can we talk about your state of Florida?”
“It’s one of the last states — not all the states have participated — one of the most recent to issue this stay-at-home order. What in the world is going on down there?” she asked. “You have a whole lot of senior citizens and, last I checked, they’re pretty high risk.”
“Yeah, so let me say one thing,” Rubio attempted. “I think for all practical purposes, we were in a stay-at-home order. Virtually every county in the state, had restrictions in place, perhaps with the exception of –.”
“Senator come on now — stop it. You and –” Ruhle cut in only to have Rubio protest, “No, I’m serious.”
“Okay, sir, hold on. Those handfuls of counties don’t have — but fine, wait,” she began before he tried to interrupt her again. “Those handfuls of counties don’t have walls around them. You and I both saw pictures of partiers on beaches jamming on it, right? They’re not bound by those counties, they can get all over the state, come on.”
“Yeah, that was two or three weeks ago,” the Florida Republican replied. “Those are not recent images and all of the counties that those videos reflect have closed beaches or the cities themselves. What I’m trying to say is just because you didn’t have a stay-at-home order doesn’t mean people weren’t staying at home. There were orders and virtually all of southeast Florida had these orders, Duval County, central Florida had these orders. About a week and a half ago, all the Tampa Bay region had these orders.”
“That said, I think the governor made the right decision to implement that statewide because it creates a level of uniformity and — but the governor has — his preference is to defer to the local level,” he added.