Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Val Demings (D-FL-10) held their first and only debate, and needless to say, the debate was fierce, as the Tallahassee Democrat summarizes. However, one specific moment deserves its own focus. At one point, Rep. Demings accuses Sen. Rubio of voter suppression, and Rubio's response is nothing short of brutal.
Specifically, Demings tells Rubio, "your job is to make sure that every person votes. The ones who may vote for you, and the ones who may not vote for you. That is your responsibility. So if it's so perfect, why the adjustments? We need to hold states accountable, to make sure that every person, although that scares the Senator to death, has the right, the precious right, to cast their vote."
Rubio begins his riposte by saying that, "if I'm trying to suppress the vote, then I'm wasting a lot of money telling people to go out and vote. Because that's what my campaign has been all about. Number two, I've never supported any suppression ever."
From here, Rubio describes the inherent danger of drop-boxes and highlighted the fact that while Demings is championing drop-boxes, she and President Barack Obama and other Democrats didn't benefit from having the controversial boxes when they won their respective campaigns.
"Listen, we've had laws in this state... How come, all of a sudden, a drop-box is the standard by which we judge whether people are being allowed to vote or not? We didn't have drop-boxes ten years ago. We didn't have drop-boxes in 2016 when the Congresswoman was first elected to Congress. We didn't have drop-boxes in 2012 when Barack Obama won the state of Florida running for President. That's a method of voting that doesn't advantage one group or another. There's a danger involved in drop-boxes when you think about it. Imagine someone decides, 'oh, there's a drop-box, I'm just going to put some explosive in it and blow it up and burn all those ballots, and now those votes don't count at all," said Rubio.
He concludes by reiterating the importance of election integrity, accusing Democrats of planning to federalize elections for their benefit.
"With elections, there are two things that are very important. Number one, the count has to be accurate, the votes have to be counted accurately. But the other is there has to be public confidence. The public has to believe the elections were fair and balanced. And that's what I've always been in favor of. But what they want is a federal takeover of the elections. I do not want a federal takeover of our election system. I oppose it," added Rubio.