FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Oct. 28 (UPI) -- One of Florida's largest newspapers called for the resignation of Republican Sen. Marco Rubio after he said he is frustrated with his job in the Senate, and continually misses votes and meetings.
The Sun Sentinel, which endorsed Rubio in his 2010 bid for Senate, said Rubio is collecting a paycheck while spending most of his time campaigning for the 2016 GOP nomination. Rubio has missed about a third of his Senate votes this year, giving him the worst voting attendance record of any other senator in 2015.
The scathing editorial accused Rubio of "ripping off" the state, saying "If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it."
Boehner is stepping down at the end of the week.
"You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems. Plus you take a $10,000 federal subsidy -- declined by some in the Senate -- to participate in one of the Obamacare health plans, though you are a big critic of Obamacare," the newspaper's editorial board said. "By choosing to stay in the Senate and get the publicity, perks and pay that go with the position -- without doing the work -- you are taking advantage of us."
Earlier this week, The Washington Post quoted Rubio's unnamed friend saying "He hates it," meaning Rubio hates being senator. Rubio countered with, "I don't know that 'hate' is the right word. I'm frustrated."
NBC News reported Rubio has missed 59 votes to Sen. Ted Cruz's 57 votes. Sen. Rand Paul has missed four votes and Sen. Lindsey Graham has missed 39. All are running for the GOP nomination. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a Democratic presidential candidate, has missed seven votes.
Rubio argues it takes time to run for president: "I'm not missing votes because I'm on vacation. I'm running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again."
Tuesday, Rubio cast his first vote in 26 days and gave a floor speech, his first in 41 days. He asked the Senate to pass a bill that would give the Department of Veterans Affairs more power to remove underperforming employees. The bill didn't pass.
"True, it's not easy to raise money and run a presidential campaign while doing your day job. But two other candidates -- Sens. Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders -- have missed only 10 Senate votes during their campaigns for the White House," the Sun Sentinel editorial said. "Either do your job, Sen. Rubio, or resign it."