WASHINGTON – Long Island Rep. Pete King had blunt words Thursday for one ofÂ his party’s potential 2016 presidential nominees: Don’t take New Yorkers forÂ suckers.
King could barely contain himself after learning that Sen. Marco RubioÂ (R-Fla.) has been fundraising in New York after voting against federal fundingÂ for Hurricane Sandy victims.
In a series of interviews, and in an email to supporters, King blastedÂ Rubio’s conduct as the height of chutzpah. “Being from New York we’re notÂ supposed to be suckers,” King said in an email.
“It’s bad enough that potential Republican presidential candidates votedÂ against Hurricane Sandy aid, that’s inexcusable enough. But to have the balls toÂ come in and say, ‘We screwed you now make us President?’ ”
Rubio was one of 215 Republicans – 39 in the Senate and 179 in the House – who voted against $50.4 billion in emergency appropriations for stormÂ recovery.
King said New York donors should turn off the fundraising spigot for theÂ likes of Rubio.
“They cast their vote against us, so I think we should vote no on them,” KingÂ told the Daily News. “Don’t give them a nickel!”
“None of them ever came to New York to stand with us or our governor. ThisÂ is not a bridge or a tunnel. This is life and death,” said King, noting thatÂ Rubio’s home state is no stranger to bad weather and “has always gotten stormÂ relief money.”
Rubio’s office did not respond to a request Thursday for comment.
The King outcry capped a less-than-memorable month for Rubio, who became aÂ punching bag on the Internet after clumsily guzzling a bottle of water duringÂ his response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Other Republicans eyed for 2016 who opposed Sandy aid include 2012 viceÂ presidenial nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
King’s blast echoes remarks he made in December when House Speaker JohnÂ Boehner backed off a promise to allow a vote on the Sandy aid before the 112thÂ Congress ended.
“Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny toÂ congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” King said then. The money wasÂ not approved until early February. With his comments Thursday, King made clearÂ that he would not forget who was against New York in its time of need.
Source: NY Daily News