Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) delivers remarks during a primary election night party at the Radisson hotel Feb. 9, 2016 in Manchester, N.H.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Rubio backers still struggling to find his accomplishments

The story was quickly overshadowed by Marco Rubio’s debate breakdown in New Hampshire, but just a few days prior, Rick Santorum, a prominent Rubio supporter, was asked on MSNBC to name even one accomplishment from the senator’s record. Santorum made a valiant effort, but he couldn’t think of anything.
On Friday, The Hill asked Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has also endorsed Rubio, to name something noteworthy that Rubio has actually done. “Well, he has, he has, brought issues out in the public so that the public is aware of the problems that exist,” Inhofe said in response.
Realizing that this wasn’t much of an answer, the Oklahoma Republican tried to elaborate.
“Now, specific, what has he done? He voted for, as I did, the NDAA, the National Defense Authorization Act, and he did it because, and there were several other senators who didn’t, two other senators who didn’t do it.”
It’s hard to blame Senator Snowball for trying, but there are a couple of problems with this. The first is that voting for a spending bill isn’t an “accomplishment,” per se. It’s not the sort of thing that requires a great deal of effort.
The second problem, as the Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins explained, is that Rubio didn’t actually vote for the NDAA. The one thing Inhofe could come up with wasn’t even true – the Florida senator didn’t show up for work when it came time to approve the NDAA and send it to the White House for a signature.
In other words, asked to name a Rubio accomplishment, one of his high-profile Senate supporters came up with something Rubio didn’t actually do.
On “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, Chris Wallace asked Rubio about Jeb Bush’s argument that he “ran a big state eight years,” while senator “attends hearings.”
Rubio noted in response, “Foreign policy experience is doing as I did, leading the effort to impose additional sanctions on Hezbollah.”
That at least sounds like an accomplishment, except (1) the Hezbollah sanctions bill passed without opposition, so this was hardly a heavy lift; and (2) when it came time for the Senate to vote on the Hezbollah sanctions bill, Rubio again didn’t show up for work.
The senator and his allies will have to keep trying to think of something notable Rubio’s done after spending most of his adult life in public office.