September 3rd, 2010
12:09 PM ET
8 years ago

Citing father's health, Rubio pulls out of debate

 Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio has withdrawn from what would have been his first debate with Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, citing his father’s deteriorating health.

Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio has withdrawn from what would have been his first debate with Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek, citing his father’s deteriorating health.

(CNN) - Florida Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio is pulling out of what would have been his first debate with Democratic opponent Kendrick Meek, citing the health of his father.

The debate – in which independent candidate and current Florida Gov. Charlie Crist was not scheduled to participate – was set to air on NBC's Meet the Press.

"Unfortunately, the health of Marco's father, Mario Rubio, has significantly deteriorated in the last 48 hours. As a result, Marco plans to stay with his father and family during this time, and will be unable to participate in this Sunday's debate on Meet the Press," said campaign spokesman Alex Burgos.

Rubio's father, Mario, is 83 years old and has emphysema and lung cancer, according to Burgos.

Recent polls suggest Rubio and Crist essentially tied while Meek is running a distant third.

Filed under: 2010 • Florida • Marco Rubio
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. waya

    He has obviously taken a page from the playbooks of Brewer, Rand, Angle, and Palin. . .RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!

    September 3, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. AF.

    Come on Rubio, we understand that scenario, John Mcain did the same thing last year. He skiped a debate with Obama to go to Washington, where is been wasting time and the Americans tax money for mor than 20 years, to fix the economy, that's was a shame. You to today do the same thing in front of an other candidate democrate. We will open our eyes, will skip you vote in this November.

    September 3, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  3. Pope Glenn Beckdeology Honor God and Be an Anti America Radical

    So when is Rubio gonna MAN up and debate his opponent?!...Is he wishing or waiting for his father to pass on?!...Typical John Mcsame moment: calling off a debate to go back to Washington to fix hid buddies in Wall Street and the economy collapse!

    Or is Rubio one of the impotent and limp and gutless WingNUTs that can't debate...but can spew gibberish talking points made up by brain dead Palin, Pope Glenn Beckdeology and Heil Rush LimpFROG?!

    Com'on Rubio, MAN UP!!!

    September 3, 2010 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Jonny-Boy

    May pulling out of this debate work as well for him as it did for McCain in 2008.

    September 3, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  5. Dave Hodges

    Sorry about your Dad, but if he's not on his death bed you need to debate. It's as simple as that.

    September 3, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. GOP for LIFE

    Too bad the senior Rubio didn't "pull out" that night!

    September 3, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. J.T.

    I don't like his political views, my prayers still goes out to his family.

    September 3, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  8. water bearer

    Why is it that the Right Wing Extremists who are trying to destroy our country don't want to come before the American people and have an honest debate?? Oh yeah . . . .must have something to do with the word "honest". They aren't capable of being it.

    September 3, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Future expat

    If this is true, I wish him and his father the best.

    BUT, now that avoiding debates and interviews has become a staple of Tea Party strategy (see Palin, Angle, Brewer, Paul, etc.), I can only greet his excuse with a large dose of skepticism.

    September 3, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Perry



    Sharon Angle, Jan Brewer, Sarah Palin, and Rand Paul are all backing away from microphones. They say what their base wants to hear in private and answer no questions in public. This leaves a lot of people without information.

    The people and the media better get demanding!

    September 3, 2010 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    Just reshedule, should be no problem! Don't have sympathy? No problem! I don't recall anybody asking you for any!

    September 3, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Snoop

    Rubio doesnt need an excuse to not debate – he's got this race won. As soon as Meek won the nomination, he and Crist were going to split the liberal vote.

    September 3, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    Guess he just isn't ready.

    September 3, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. USA

    You nuts on the left need serious help. You are as ignorant as the nuts on the right that were prasing the death of Mr Byrd. Keep your stupid comments to yourself!!!!!

    September 3, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  15. patrick

    Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ... a ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! ... chicken

    Typical of the Tea Party members following the Palin doctrine – "Don't answer any questions from lamestream media"

    September 3, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  16. What a Chicken

    That is code for "I'm not prepared". Mark my words, his father will be alive and kicking well after the election.

    September 3, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Bessy

    If this is true, he belongs with his father.
    If it is not true, then, that should tell the voters something about the man.

    September 3, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  18. Sam

    I don't think it's fair to be critical of Mr. Rubio's desire to spend time with his father. I don't think Rubio would use his father's illness as an excuse for pulling out of the debate. I may disagree with Rubio on a number of issues, but I do hope for the best for his father.

    September 3, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Ken, AZ

    This is the Jesse Helms strategy of "never debate your opponent or speak to anyone that can ask unscripted questions". This is the tactic that Sarah Palin, Angle of Nevada, Jan Brewer of Arizona, Rand Paul of Kentucky and now Rubio seem to be using, and we will no doubt see this tactic used by most Tea Party and GOP candidates. I wonder why?

    September 3, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. Haren

    Bottom line is They can not face media because they will be exposed like Angle of Arizona.

    September 3, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. NC

    you liberals are so heartless and sick.......the Republicans will prevail in November 2010....taking both the house and senate....and in November 2012....the White House.....prayers to the Rubio Family...

    September 3, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. Cindy

    I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt. Take care, spend time with your father, before it's too late.

    But then, after that.... life goes on, back to business. Florida wants a 3 way debate.

    Remember when Obama took a few days off the campaign, just before the election, to see his grandma? It was a fortunate thing he did that... she died the eve of the election.

    September 3, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Terry from West Texas

    Let's give the man the benefit of the doubt. When my father was on his deathbed, I skipped work to be with him. I also knew that I would not be focused on my work anyway.

    We have no doubt that he is a Republican Conservative and is therefore not worthy of public office. Those folks are deliberately trying to bankrupt the federal government, take away our freedoms, and create a corporate state. American Conservatism is the most dangerous force on the planet – far more dangerous than terrorists.

    I hope the good voters of Florida will not elect this guy.

    September 3, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  24. Mark, Phoenix

    Crist should step in.

    September 3, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  25. Laverne

    This is typical of the republicans, they want to spew out their lies and fear mongering tactics, but when it comes to debating the facts they retrieve like Sarah Palin. Marco is a phony and knows he will get blown out the water. You can run, but you can't hide, he will have to debate sooner or later and then the American people will see him for what he really is.

    September 3, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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