Rand Paul: Marco Rubio Should Either ‘Resign Or Give Up His Paycheck’

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

Kentucky Sen. [crscore]Rand Paul[/crscore] says fellow Republican and presidential candidate [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] should either “resign or give up his paycheck” after missing an important vote in the Senate on Friday.

“He’s been critical of the budget deal, the trillion dollars in spending, but didn’t have the time to come and vote against it or come and make any kind of statement in the Senate,” Paul said in a Friday interview with The Daily Caller.

“I think really, he ought to make a decision to resign or give up his paycheck if he’s not going to be here doing the people’s business,” Paul said.

Rubio, a Florida senator who has missed votes while on the campaign trail, said in a statement Friday: “I strongly oppose this bill because it keeps spending money that we don’t have.” But Rubio didn’t make it for the vote in Congress when the Senate approved the massive spending plan 65 to 33.


Speaking by phone, Paul also weighed in on the debate between Rubio and Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] over immigration. “I don’t think there’s any question that both Rubio and Cruz have been for a form of amnesty.”

During this week’s debate in Las Vegas, Cruz criticized Rubio for backing a proposal in 2013 that included a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Rubio replied by pointing out that Cruz once supported an amendment to that bill that would have given these immigrations legal status instead of citizenship. Cruz claims that amendment was meant as a poison pill to hurt the bill.

But Paul doesn’t believe Cruz’s explanation.

“When Cruz put forward his amendment, he said over and over again he was for passing a bill that had a legalization or a normalization path,” Paul said. “He just wasn’t for the citizenship part. I guess what Cruz is having trouble with now is admitting he changed his mind. Because at the time, his position was more for what people call a form of amnesty.”

Paul added he doesn’t necessarily like the word “amnesty.”

“We’ve dumbed it down to a kindergarten level because almost everything, if you want it to be called, is a form of amnesty,” Paul said. “Even Trump’s plan to send 11 million home and readmit them, you could argue that’s a form of amnesty.”

The Las Vegas debate

Paul nearly didn’t make the cut for Tuesday’s primetime debate at the Venetian, but said it was of the utmost importance that he was there.

His campaign has noted a slew of positive reactions, including from people like Iowa radio host Steve Deace: “Tonight is first time Rand Paul has been the true liberty champion on a national stage as a presidential candidate he was expected to be.” The Atlantic called the debate “his best night of the race.”

“I think it’s absolutely vital,” Paul said of being included in the top-tier debates. “And really it’s so much power given to a few people to make a decision. I was happy, you know obviously, with the CNN decision. But I think really, this whole campaign has been sort of led by the nose by polling. And I think it’s a mistake.”

Added Paul: “Campaigns like ours — that have raised nearly 25 million dollars, organized in 50 states, have ground operations in all the states — it’s devastating if you get pushed off the debate stage.”

Paul expressed skepticism about the accuracy of polls, saying debate participation shouldn’t be “so driven just by polling.”

“If you looked at money raised, organization, paid staff, things like that, I think most people following the campaign can tell the difference between a real campaign and those who are just sort of putting their name in the hat,” he said.

Trump’s pledge

One newsworthy part of the CNN debate was when questioner Hugh Hewitt asked candidate Donald Trump: “Are you ready to assure Republicans tonight that you will run as a Republican and abide by the decision of the Republicans?”

“I really am. I’ll be honest, I really am,” Trump replied.

Asked Friday if he believes Trump, Paul said: “I think it’s a smart political move for him because he has won a certain segment of the population but in order to keep people with him, he’s got to probably reassure people he would stick around.”

Paul said he still doubts Trump’s viability in the upcoming contests.

“I still continue to maintain that the polls are giving a false narrative of some electoral victory for Trump,” he said. “People are going to be shocked when they get to election night in Iowa and nobody blowing it out like that. I think the vote is going to be much more evenly spread than any of the polls are showing. I think a lot of the people answering Trump in the polls are non-voters.”

Iowa and New Hampshire

With voting in Iowa (Feb. 1) and New Hampshire (Feb. 9) nearing, Paul said he plans to keep “pounding the pavement” with trips planned to both states. The Real Clear Politics polling average shows Paul in sixth place in Iowa with 3.3 percent and 10th place in New Hampshire with 2.1 percent.

Paul also expressed excitement that, after Christmas, the Senate will vote on “audit the Fed” legislation, something announced Friday that has long been a priority of Paul supporters.

Follow Alex on Twitter