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Rubio Tops the Field in Missed Senate Votes

Marco Rubio’s Rising Poll Numbers Spur Attacks From Republican Rivals 2:05

Donald Trump has singled out plenty of his fellow GOP presidential candidates and his most recent target is Florida Senator Marco Rubio whom he calls “lazy” for skipping out on his day job.

Trump tweeted last week, "Rubio is totally owned by the lobbyists and special interests. A lightweight senator with the worst voting record in Senate. Lazy!”

On NBC’s the TODAY show Tuesday, Rubio dismissed the criticism, saying, “The majority of the job of being a senator isn’t walking onto the Senate floor and lifting your finger on a non-controversial issue and saying which way you’re going to vote. The majority of the work of a senator is the constituent service.”

On the same day Rubio defended his missed votes, he missed a procedural vote on the Defense Authorization bill that Congress is grappling over. And Rubio previously implored others on the importance of voting.

“If you don't want to vote on things, don't run for the Senate. If you don't want to vote on things, don't run for office,” he said on the Senate floor. “Be a columnist. Get a talk show. Everyone who runs for office knows that what we are called to do here is vote on issues on which sometimes we are uncomfortable,” he said in April in reference to amendments on the Iran deal.

Either way, here's how many votes Rubio and his senate colleagues running for president have missed since announcing their candidacy for president.

Marco Rubio

  • Announcement: April 13, 2015
  • Missed Votes: 59
  • Percentage: 42%

Lindsey Graham**

  • Announcement: June 1, 2015
  • Missed Votes: 39
  • Percentage: 48%

Rand Paul

  • Announcement: April 7, 2015
  • Missed Votes: 4
  • Percentage: 3%

Ted Cruz

  • Announcement: March 23, 2015
  • Missed Votes: 57
  • Percentage: 29%

Bernie Sanders

  • Announcement: March 26, 2015
  • Missed Votes: 7
  • Percentage: 4%

Jeb Bush has suggested that members who miss votes should receive a pay reduction. But when asked by NBC News about the issue, Sen. Graham said, “Other candidates are saying this because it benefits them. I’m not concerned that another candidate criticizing me really matter, because I know I’m doing what’s best for my aspirations to be president and the people of South Carolina.”

“All I would say is that I’ve got a day job and I’ve got a desire to be president, so I’m trying to balance the two just like (2008 Republican nominee) Senator McCain did,” Sen Graham said today,

**While Graham’s percentages are higher, the reason is because he announced much later in the process. Rubio missed more votes than Graham during the same time frame.