WASHINGTON — Long Island Rep. Pete King had blunt words Thursday for one of his party’s potential 2016 presidential nominees: Don’t take New Yorkers for suckers.
King could barely contain himself after learning that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been fundraising in New York after voting against federal funding for Hurricane Sandy victims.
In a series of interviews, and in an email to supporters, King blasted Rubio’s conduct as the height of chutzpah. “Being from New York we’re not supposed to be suckers,” King said in an email.
“It’s bad enough that potential Republican presidential candidates voted against Hurricane Sandy aid, that’s inexcusable enough. But to have the balls to 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 storm recovery.
King said New York donors should turn off the fundraising spigot for the likes of Rubio.
“They cast their vote against us, so I think we should vote no on them,” King 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. This is not a bridge or a tunnel. This is life and death,” said King, noting that Rubio’s home state is no stranger to bad weather and “has always gotten storm 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 a punching bag on the Internet after clumsily guzzling a bottle of water during his response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Other Republicans eyed for 2016 who opposed Sandy aid include 2012 vice 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 John Boehner backed off a promise to allow a vote on the Sandy aid before the 112th Congress ended.
“Anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds,” King said then. The money was not approved until early February. With his comments Thursday, King made clear that he would not forget who was against New York in its time of need.
Source: NY Daily News