Rubio: I've Always Distinguished Between Campaigning for Stimulus and Accepting Funds
6:10 PM, Dec 10, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
David Frum wrote in the CNN column linked below that "Rubio has suggested that he would have refused the federal stimulus dollars and instead cut up to $6 billion out of the $65 billion state budget."
But Rubio does not say in the YouTube video linked in the CNN column--as Frum suggests--that as governor he would have refused the stimulus dollars once the bill had already been passed. Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos writes in an email that Rubio has "always drawn a clear distinction between supporting passage of the stimulus (as Crist did) versus reluctantly accepting funds after it passed."
In fact, Rubio told me during an interview last spring before he had even announced his candidacy: "It's one thing to say you'll accept the funds from the federal government. It's another to actively advocate those policies, which I think are disastrous for America."
Many conservatives who want to privatize Social Security nonetheless accept Social Security checks. This isn't hypocrisy--since they're already paying for it, they might as well get their share. The same is true of accepting stimulus funds (unless accepting those funds puts the state on the hook for even more spending). As Rubio said on TV yesterday: "Ultimately I would have accepted those portions of the money that would not have put Florida in a worse position off in the future than it is right now."
Rubio issued a statement today about his record on the stimulus: