Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) may have missed two votes this week to defund Planned Parenthood, but he dismissed them as "show votes" and criticized his party for holding them in the first place without enough public support.
Asked by an Iowa voter Thursday whether he would really stand up for conservative values as president, given his history of missing votes on key conservative issues, Rubio said that his frustration with the status quo was the reason he was running. He criticized unsuccessful GOP efforts to lower the national debt, repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood, saying that Republicans needed to work harder to get the public on their side if they wanted to see their priorities enacted.
"What did they say instead? Well we're not gonna win this vote anyway, so we'll do a show vote, but ultimately the president's not gonna sign it, we lost," Rubio said. "If you don't even try, of course you lost."
While Rubio did vote in favor of a motion to proceed with legislation that would have defunded Planned Parenthood in August, he missed votes on two other attempts to do so after that measure failed. He missed a cloture vote on Monday on legislation that continues funding for Planned Parenthood because he was at a fundraiser, the Des Moines Register reported. He also missed a final vote on Wednesday on a bill to fund the government, including Planned Parenthood, that passed.
Despite those two missed votes, a dark money group supporting Rubio sent out mailers this week saying that he would defund Planned Parenthood as president. The current defunding effort came after the release of controversial and heavily edited videos about the group.
Rubio, who has one of the worst attendance records in the Senate, has said that he believes the only way to change things in Washington is to become president, which sometimes requires him to attend campaign events instead of Senate votes. He has also said that he doesn't miss "serious votes."
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