{{show_title_date || "Rubio: Obama should be honest about ‘culture of intimidation’, 5/16/13, 10:38 AM ET"}}

Rubio: Prosecutions should come from IRS scandal

Updated

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday applauded the resignation of acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller, but said action did not go far enough, and there should be further legal ramifications from the ongoing investigation.

“It’s just the beginning—it’s not nearly enough,” the Republican senator said on The Daily Rundown. “I think there should be prosecutions of individuals who were responsible here in abusing their power.”

President Obama called for Miller’s resignation after an internal report showed the IRS staff had improperly targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny, and poor management was to blame.

Rubio said recent scandals were further evidence of a “culture of intimidation that [Obama’s] administration has created” in its refusal to work across the aisle and “always ascribing ulterior motives” to its opposition.

“[It’s a] string of events where you see an administration and the federal government…that is willing using its power to muscle and hardball people who don’t agree with them.”

Rubio said the agency’s scrutiny of conservative groups was further evidence of government abuse, and criticized the politicization of what should be a non-partisan agency.

Decrying Obama, Rubio said the IRS scandal was more proof of a “full time 24/7, 365-day a year political effort” by the Obama administration “to destroy your opponents for political gain.”


But Rubio defended his own political action committee, the Reclaim America PAC, and its fundraising push amid the ongoing controversies, saying he was simply trying to “rally people to work against these sorts of abuse of power.”

Rubio also said the growing distrust in government could hurt one of his signature issues—a push for immigration reform as the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” bill advances in the Senate and continues markup in the Judiciary Committee Thursday.

“One of the impediments to immigration reform is a lack of trust in the federal government,” said Rubio.

But, the Florida senator said, the response should not be inaction at a time when some type of action to overhaul the country’s immigration system is crucial.

“The only way I know how to solve a problem is to get involved,” Rubio explained. “What’s the alternative – the status quo?


“The status quo is amnesty. The status quo is a broken legal immigration system,” Rubio said. “If they don’t agree with my ideas I hope they’ll offer their own.”

Rubio: Prosecutions should come from IRS scandal

Updated