Marco Rubio complained about his critics during a speech before the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) on Thursday afternoon, saying that Democrats didn’t “respect” him or his policy positions.
Rubio joked about his much-publicized sip of water during the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address and appeared on stage with a tray of water glasses, before complaining about feeling judged for opposing marriage equality, access to reproductive health care services, and the science behind climate change — suggesting that his positions should be respected no matter how out of step they are with mainstream consensus:
RUBIO: I respect people who disagree with me on certain things, but that means they have to respect me too. Just because I believe states should have the right to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot. Just because we believe that life, all human life, all life, all human life is worthy of protection in every stage of its development doesn’t make you a chauvinist. In fact, the people who are actually close minded in American politics are people who love to preach about the certainty of science in regard to our climate, but ignore the absolute fact that life begins at conception.
Rubio is in fact behind the curve on LGBT rights, women’s health, and climate change. As a growing number of Americans are growing more tolerant and accepting of same-sex unions, believe that women should be able to afford contraception, and see climate change as a real threat to the planet, Rubio seems stuck in the past.
He wouldn’t take a position on legislation that would prohibit employers from firing employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identify and wouldn’t say “whether same-sex couples should receive protections under immigration law.” Rubio has introduced legislation that would allow employers to deny women access to birth control, voted against the motion to proceed to debate the Violence Against Women Act, and still thinks that the existence of global warming is up for scientific debate.
Rather than wonder why his critics disagree with him, Rubio should be willing to deal with the consequences of the policies he espouses and how some perceive and interpret them.