The presidential campaign of Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky released an ad on Dec. 21 taking aim at a fellow senator and rival for the GOP party nomination (video below).
Paul has been critical of his fellow congressman and presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, for his glaringly absentee voting record throughout 2015. Both have been waging presidential campaigns, but while Paul has only missed 6 percent of floor votes this year, Rubio has been absent for 35 percent, Politico reports.
Paul has honed in on Rubio’s absence during the Senate vote for the "omnibus," a massive spending package Congress passed on its last day in session for 2015.
“It may have been the most important vote of the year, but certainly the largest spending bill of the year,” Paul said of the omnibus, according to Breitbart. “And yeah, I think if you are being paid by the taxpayer, you should show up and vote. And so I think this is a big issue. And for him [Rubio] to say he’s only going to show up when it’s a close vote, I don’t think that passes muster."
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Paul concluded: “And I think really that he ought to just resign or probably give his pay back because he’s not really earning his pay at this point.”
Rubio defended being one of the only two senators to miss the omnibus vote, claiming he had been given too little time to review the 2,000-page spending package to support it.
“In essence, not voting for it, is a vote against it,” Rubio told CBS.
“Here’s the other point about Senator Paul, and I don’t want to engage him too much because he’s got his own style about him,” continued Rubio, just before taking a swipe at Paul for running for re-election to hold his Senate seat. “He’s the only person running who likes politics so much, he’s running for two offices at the same time.
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“I mean he wants to be a senator and a president. I’m not running for reelection to the Senate, because I want to be president. I want to ensure that these votes being taken in the next Congress actually matter.”
On Dec. 18, Paul’s campaign released an attack ad titled “Where in the World is Marco Rubio?”
The ad is styled after the 1980s computer game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” and calls Rubio to task for missing the Omnibus vote, referencing the Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper, which called upon Rubio to show up for votes or resign, Politico reports.