Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio apparently thought that “waterboarding Hillary” was a hilarious suggestion when an audience member shouted it out during a campaign event in South Carolina on Tuesday. Then, since the press was there, he pretended he didn’t actually hear what the man had said.
Rubio was once again declaring his troubling support of Guantanamo Bay to a crowd of more than 500 people, promising to keep the house of horrors detention center open “forever.”
This is a message to the Cuban government and anyone who’s listening: We’re keeping Guantanamo — forever,” he said to cheers. “We’re keeping it forever. It’s a good base.
At that point, a man in the crowd loudly, and clearly, shouted out “Waterboard Hillary!” Obviously, he was speaking of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The audience erupted in laughter at the remark, and senator Rubio seemed to laugh it off as well.
Then, even though the comment was “easily audible,” the Florida senator feigned ignorance of what the man had actually said for the sake of the press, apparently hoping that would be enough to keep him from facing criticism.
I don’t want to know what he said,” responded Rubio. He then added: “The press is here; I didn’t even hear what they — I didn’t hear what they said. I know it wasn’t a bad word, that’s all that matters.
Rubio is not the only Republican candidate to draw scrutiny during this election season for failing to stand up to his own supporters. Donald trump, during a rally in 2015, failed to correct an audience member supporting the GOP frontrunner who claimed that President Obama is a Muslim and is “not even American.”
Trump has also promised to “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” and then followed up by calling Ted Cruz a p*ssy for not jumping on board the torture train during a Republican presidential debate.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore