Donald Trump’s latest war of words is with Marco Rubio. Here is what Trump said about the Florida Senator on “Morning Joe”:
I’m looking at guys like Marco Rubio who has the worst voting record in the United States Senate. Young guy, although he sweats more than any young person I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve never seen a person sweat, down water like he downs water. They bring it in in buckets for this guy.
The part about sweating is the usual attempt at entertainment. Some of us are increasingly less entertained by this sort of thing, but at least Trump avoided any true slur against Rubio’s appearance, personality, or ethnicity.
Trump did, however, slander Rubio’s voting record when he called it the worst in the Senate. In 2012, Rubio had a 100 percent rating from the American Conservative Union. In 2014, it dropped to 98 percent.
Only a liberal could imagine that Rubio’s voting record is among the worst in the Senate. In the past, Trump has described himself, in effect, as a liberal ( “identify[ing] more as Democrat”), and in important respects I believe he is one.
But let’s not ascribe Trump’s comment to liberalism. The man is simply too busy creating jobs all day to know what’s going in the Senate.
UPDATE and CORRECTION: Scott tells me that Trump was talking about Rubio’s attendance record when votes are cast which, in fact, has not been good. This is a line of attack on Rubio that Trump has pursued and it is a fair one. Scott is right; this must be what Trump was referring to.
I stand corrected.
JOHN adds: It is often hard to tell exactly what Trump is talking about, but I agree he probably had Rubio’s attendance record in mind. This came up during the last debate. Congressional voting records are tricky, because only a relative handful of votes are really important. There is nothing wrong with missing a reasonable number of routine votes where leadership doesn’t need everyone present. When votes have been important, Rubio has canceled campaign appearances to stay in Washington, as he did with regard to a scheduled fundraiser here in Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago.
In any event, if the Democrats try to make an issue out of Rubio’s (or any Republican’s) attendance record, we can bring up John Kerry, who treated his position as a senator as strictly honorary.