On Thursday, NBC’s Chuck Todd challenged Sen. Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) claim that the Obama administration has created a “culture of intimidation” in which “everything is about politics and destroying your opponent and dividing the American people for your electoral gain,” pointing out that the Rubio’s own PAC is actively fundraising from the ongoing scandals in Washington.
“Your PAC put out an e-mail raising money on IRS issue and doing a petition,” Todd said. “That’s campaigning. That’s politics too.” Rubio disagreed, saying that his PAC is merely trying to rally the American people against government abuse:
RUBIO: Here’s the point. I’m trying to get a petition of American citizens and Americans who support us in this endeavor to rally people. That’s different to say I’ll put on my website every donor to the Obama campaign and attack that individual, a private citizen by name, and I’m going to try to create this culture where people feel intimidated and oppose me. That’s two different things I’m talking about.
Rubio has also called for the acting IRS commissioner to be fired, introduced legislation creating criminal penalties for IRS officials who engage in political targeting and asked his supporters for money. In the eight days since the story broke, Rubio’s senate office put out seven different press releases about the IRS and he has granted numerous print, radio and TV interviews to discuss the matter.
Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC is running a petition asking supporters to “Stand with Marco and demand an investigation of the IRS” and is fundraising off of the story. “If there was ever a time for conservatives to take a stand against an expanding federal government, it is now,” his PAC’s fundraising pitch reads. “Together we can use this scandal to demonstrate to Americans of all backgrounds just how dangerous the status quo has become in Washington. But we’ll need all hands on deck. You can help by contributing to the Reclaim America PAC today.”
Rubio is widely considered a likely candidate to seek the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.