Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) joined HuffPost Live on Tuesday and criticized Marco Rubio's stance on the Syrian refugee issue, accusing the 2016 presidential candidate of weighing his options to secure votes.
Before the Paris attacks, Rubio, who comes from an immigrant family himself, said that he was open to permitting "some" refugees to resettle in the U.S. The Florida senator then changed his tune, suggesting that someone with a terrorist background may "sneak in" with the displaced Syrians. More recently, Rubio added that "common-sense" exceptions, like a "5-year-old orphan" or a "90-year-old widow," would apply to his closed-door policy.
"He's doing what Marco Rubio always does," Grayson told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. "He's trying to make a political calculation about which position will win him the most votes or the most money from his campaign supporters. That's pathetic. People's lives are at stake here. Thousands and thousands of lives are at stake here."
Grayson added that Rubio's position on the issue lacked sincerity.
"As far as I can tell, Marco Rubio has never been sincere in any statement that he's made since puberty," Grayson said.
Grayson also weighed in on the rhetoric of the current GOP candidates, which he said has drifted to the right in the fight to win the primary.
"[The Republican] audience is literally suggesting that they compete against each other to see who's the biggest bigot. That's the new reality show … whoever wins that prize gets the Republican nomination," he said.
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Rep. Alan Grayson here.
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