Rubio Slams Anti-Cop Rhetoric Despite His Own Statements On Police Racism

Scott Greer Contributor
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CHARLESTON, S.C. — At a campaign rally on the outskirts of Charleston Friday, [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore] denounced media criticism of police even though he had earlier in the week publicly criticized the alleged rampant use of racial profiling in police work.

Standing alongside Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. [crscore]Tim Scott[/crscore] in a high school gymnasium, Rubio fired up the crowd with the statement, “What really boils my blood is all the bad talk about police officers in the media.”

He then said media outlets should stand with police and recognize the good service they provide communities.

But only two days prior to his North Charleston speech, Rubio himself criticized law enforcement for discriminatory practices.

“So I also know that in this country, there is a significant number, particularly of young African-American males, who feel as if they’re treated differently than the rest of society. And here’s the bottom line, whether you agree with them or not, I happen to have seen this happen,” the Florida senator said at the CNN-hosted town hall in South Carolina.

“I also know there are communities in this country where minority communities and the police department have a terrible relationship,” he stated after saying the majority of law enforcement officials do good work.

Rubio then shared a story of a black friend of his who has been stopped numerous times by the police for no given reason. “What is he supposed to think [of police practices]?” he said of his friend’s interactions with the law.

The Republican presidential candidate concluded that law enforcement has a problem that must be addressed.

“We have a problem, and we have to address it as a society and as a country… I do not believe we can fulfill our potential as a nation unless we address that,” Rubio stated.

Those comments earned him criticism from various conservatives — including Sheriff David Clarke, Breitbart News and Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald — for its similarity to the rhetoric employed by both President Obama and Black Lives Matter in regards to police matters.

Noted Black Lives Matter activist Deray McKesson even requested a meeting with Rubio on Twitter following his Wednesday comments.

Back in October, Rubio made similar statements to his town hall comments during an interview on Fox News.

“This is a legitimate issue,” Rubio said of Black Lives Matter and their criticism of police. “It is a fact that in the African-American community around this country there has been, for a number of years now, a growing resentment toward the way law enforcement and the criminal justice system interacts with the community.” (RELATED: Here Is Marco Rubio’s Response To Black Lives Matter)

“It is something we need to confront,” he added during the interview.

Liberal journalists, such as The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart, praised Rubio for those comments and a Vox article said at the time: “[Rubio] not only views racial disparities in the criminal justice system as a real issue, but actually understands the roots of the problem.”

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