Rubio: Obama's intimidation of tea party groups 'not in isolation'
Senator says Obama administration is 'willing to use its power to muscle and to hardball people'
Saying that the Obama White House's "culture of intimidation" led to the targeting of conservative and tea party groups by the IRS, Florida Senator Marco Rubio says that U.S. President Barack Obama should come clean about his agenda.
Senator Marco Rubio says that this incident is symptomatic of a wider problem. He cited a National Labor Relations Board decision against Boeing and IRS audits of some Mitt Romney donors as proof.
Rubio says that this incident is symptomatic of a wider problem. He cited a National Labor Relations Board decision against Boeing and IRS audits of some Mitt Romney donors as proof.
"This is not in isolation. This is a string of events where you see an administration and federal government under this administration that's willing to use its power to muscle and to hardball people who don't agree with them," Rubio said.
"And now it appears to include The Associated Press. There's a problem here. One thing is politics as you've outlined and another thing is full time, 24/7, 365-day-a-year political effort where everything is about politics. Everything is about destroying your opponent, and everything is about dividing the American people for your electoral gain."
There has been no evidence yet that directly linked the White House or President Barack Obama's reelection campaign to the IRS scandal. Rubio, along with other Republicans argue that the scandal was an inevitable byproduct of the Obama campaign's demonization of the GOP and outside spending groups.
Sean Sullivan, columnist with the Washington Post, sees this as a shining moment of opportunity for Rubio, who some feel will make a bid fro the White House in 2016.
"Rubio's allies insist this is an issue he cares deeply about," Sullivan writes. "But as we often note in this space, it's difficult - if not impossible - to completely separate political calculation from the actions of elected officials. And from a political perspective, Rubio demonstrated some savvy.
"The White House is under a cloud of scrutiny over three major issues right now: Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and the Justice Department's decision to secretly obtain the phone records of Associated Press journalists. The consensus among GOP strategists is that the party should focus its energy on the IRS, which suggests Rubio is right where he should be."
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