The Orlando Sentinel reported that on Tuesday night Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) tried and failed to create a good photo op for his re-election campaign by visiting local shops surrounding Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.
The Pulse was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, which left 49 people dead and many injured. After the shooting, Rubio had used the tragedy as an excuse to announce that he planned re-run for the Senate seat he promised to vacate before launching his failed presidential campaign.
Rubio said he was seeking action to help compensate surrounding business owners whose revenue was adversely affected by the shooting.
However, Rubio was greeted by a crowd of LGBT and anti-NRA protesters who demanded that Rubio answer for destructive policies which they believe allowed the shooting to happen.
A protester named David Moran managed to confront the senator on camera.
I need to know: what is your relationship is with the NRA?” Moran asked the senator. “Why are you talking with transphobes and homophobes like John Stemberger? All of you have blood on your hands.
According to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Stemberger is president of the Florida Family Policy Council, an organization labeled in 2010 by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group. In June, Stemberger endorsed Rubio’s failed presidential campaign.
In pure “Rubot” form, the senator gave the standard canned answer:
I disagree with your assessment, including some of the people you mentioned,” Rubio said to Moran. “Homophobia means you’re scared of people. I’m not scared of people. Quite frankly, I respect all people. We probably have a disagreement on the definition of marriage.
But Moran, who wasn’t in the mood for canned B.S., fired back with a damning accusation:
Your policies kill people,” Moran countered. “Your policies enable people to be murdered.
Rubio, who could tell this photo-op was going south fast, began making plans for his retreat.
Yeah, that’s an unfortunate thing for you to say,” a visibly frustrated Rubio replied as Moran continued.
“You have to protect us,” he said. “You’re not protecting us. We’re going to be gunned down. You have blood on your hands, and you cannot deny it.
Rubio then turned away from Moran and asked a reporter for another question. Not long after the confrontation, Rubio, with his tail tucked between his legs, made his escape.
Meanwhile, Rubio told reporters that he wanted to help the small businesses affected by the shooting by leeching from the $17 million originally intended for the victims to use as compensation.
However, one business owner said that he would not want to accept any money meant for the victims and their families.
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