September 3rd, 2010
12:09 PM ET
4 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 Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio has withdrawn from what would have been his first debate with Democratic Rep.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Florida Senate candidate Marco Rubio has withdrawn from what would have been his first debate with Democratic Rep.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. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Okay.
    I would've thought (unless his father is dying) that you could've made the old man proud during your debate. But okay. Sure.

    I think it is more plausible that he saw what happenned to Brewer and got scared. Really scared.

    Not everyone is up to ALL the work, preparation, and intellect that it takes to pull off a successful debate. Especially when you don't know what you're talking about unless somebody is feeding you your lines.

    Hope your father gets well soon Blondie.

    September 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Laverne

    and by the way how does he find the time to speak and tell lies all over the place, but when it's time to debate he uses his father as an excuse. Wasn't his father sick in prior months too?

    September 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Nadeem

    My prayers are with him and his father.

    It appears from the note that Rubio may be dodging? Has he tried to get of debates in te past? Is he a Jan Brewer?

    September 3, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. MGR

    These comments comparing Rubio to Jan Brewer just crack me up. Has anyone watched the two of them in interviews or press conferences? He is obviously a much better speaker than Jan Brewer and I honestly don't think he would have one of those "Brewer" moments - in fact I'm quite sure that Meek and Crist are afraid of him.

    September 3, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. anotherGDlefty

    If dad is ill and son wants to be there, no one should fault that. Ever.

    There is plenty of time left for Florida voters to hear this debate.

    Reschedule it and show up.

    Simple.

    If it goes past that then he IS afraid and doesn't want a Brewer / Paylin / Angle moment that will torpedo him.........

    September 3, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Florida's Best

    Amazing, he must have seen Jan Brewer's debate on TV and developed cold feet. That's what happens when people have nothing sensible on their resume and have zero acievements, capabilities or new ideas. They talk-up "issues of the moment" (eg immigration, muslim mosque on ground zero etc) and when the issues fade-out, they get stuck because they have nothing else to offer. What else can you talk about outside "BIG GOVERNMENT, HIGH TAXES, HIGH SPENDING". Listen Marco, I have a message from daddy "Son, I am fine, get out there and talk to the people. You can't use me as an excuse all the time, you've been doing that since kindergarten....it has to stop, be a man". Go on meet the press on sunday..........

    September 3, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. gt

    i wonder how many of these comments would be made if they were face to face with the party they are talking about... not to many ,, i think allot of ticker writers are gutless ... and would not say anything ...

    September 3, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  8. Dyan, Minnesota

    Interesting timing. We just saw two tea pary favorites do badly in debates (Brewer and Fiorina) and suddenly Rubio "can't" attend his debate due to family issues? Whether my suspicions are wrong or right will be determined by whether Rubio reschedules the debate. Right now, my money is on the bet that he doesn't reschedule. Or if he does, it's going to happen so close to the election as to make the debate pointless.

    September 3, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Becoming political thanks to this administration

    To those attacking him for this decision: where is your compassion? You post vile attacks on those you deem intolerant and then add your own special brand of poison. Have you no decency?

    September 3, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    I bet the old man has good insurance....

    September 3, 2010 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  11. Linda L. Peters

    it is so insensitive and cruel the way people are putting down Marco Rubio in reference to his not being able to be on "Meet the Press" for the debate and saying he is using it as an excuse for his dad's illness. Marco Rubio is a classy and intelligent person and would not use his father's illness as an excuse for this or anything else. If "Meet the Press" has any class at all, they will reschedule the debate. Linda L. Peters, Owings Mills, Md. Thank you and have a good day.

    September 3, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. dani

    professional bloggers are wreaking havoc on the American people. Who cares what you all think? People, just take comments with a grain of salt. Nasty, nasty.

    September 3, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. QbanFL

    Hmmm...you only have 4 months until the Estate Tax starts up again.

    September 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. José

    About Rubio's father, I wish him and his famly peace and health.
    But anyone who can vote for Marco Rubio, please think about it. He is a Tea Party Member. That means he wants to cut all taxes. Taxes are how our country, state, cities function. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, Equality, Social Justice – all these things are hated by The Tea Party, because their Founders, The Koch Brothers, are the TOP OILMEN BILLIONAIRES who HATE paying social security taxes since they will most likely never need social security. So instead of understanding that their tax money strengthens a series of programs that go to benefit the needy, sick, disabled, and children – they decide that they want to recreate our nation in their image. Since the 70's they have been on this march. The Tea Party is their Foot Soldiers. Their Brown shirts. Rubio may very will be good person, a good son, and family member... but the Party he represents is the destruction of America wrapped in an American Flag and using people who HATE democrats to advance their anti-American agenda. Look It Up ! Try Yahoo, Google, YouTbe, or Wikipedia. Knowledge is POWER!

    September 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Millie (GSO)

    It is really sad about his father, and equally sad my first thought is it is only excuse so he does not end up looking like a fool like so many other Republicans do when they enter a open debate or discuss.

    I hope all the best for his father.

    September 3, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. Givemeabreak!!!

    Rubio is a LOSER!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 3, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Pragmatic

    Quick question: what kind of health care coverage does Mr. Rubio (Sr) have and is his son willing to work to make sure all Americans have the same level of coverage.

    Just askin' ....

    September 3, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. JonDie

    Maybe he should consider NOT being a senator. Maybe he should have other priorities than his own personal power.

    September 3, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. midasInMiami

    Rubio is pulling a Rick Scott.

    This is what happens when the Supreme Court turns it's back on hundreds of years of case law, and says that corporations can spend limitless amounts of money on campaigns.

    Rick Scott cancelled in all of his debates with Bill McCollum in the Republican Gubernatorial Primary here in Florida.

    Scott didn't want to have to face an open forum discussing why his health care company doled out a record fine for Medicare fraud.

    Instead, he didn't answer questions, spent tons of his own money on attack ads, and won the nomination. Just like Palin.

    Tea Party people will somehow tell us this is the American way. Elect someone on the basis of one or two campaign slogans, or how harshly they criticize their opponent.

    Having a plan, other than lower taxes, which has already been tried, "Read my lips, No new taxes.", doesn't matter to these people.

    This is why some think your motivation is about preservation of the majority, rather than really protecting American values.

    Real American values dictate that candidates tell us what they intend to do, and show some type of ability to lead. Not just the ability to criticize, spew inflammatory rhetoric and raise money.

    If the conservatives do take over government, it will fun to see the look in Tea Party members eyes as they slowly but surely realize they are being dupped.

    September 3, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. michael tampa

    Doesn't matter, i am not voting for this crook anyway, we in florida know who he really is!

    September 3, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  21. Annie, Atlanta

    I'm feeling guilty for being skeptical, but after what Palin pulled during the presidental campaign, by refusing to speak publicly, there seems to be a pattern emerging, at least with the GOP.

    How about we the people refuse to vote for anyone that refuses to speak to the public and the press? That would fix this potential problem for good. We have a lot more power than we apparently know or understand. Let's use it folks.

    September 3, 2010 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  22. wayne

    This guy is such a dishonest whimp, just like the rest of his party. A fowl, ploy to get votes. Shame on this jerk.

    September 3, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Ken in NC

    @ Susan......I must disagree with you about Half Gov. Sarah Palin not facing the media. Palin faces the media everyda. She puts her information up on her Facebook Page for them to gobble up and then she satnds back and watches them jump all over it. Ohhhhhhhh pardon me. I was just informed that "Face"book is not "Facing" the media so I guess you are right..

    September 3, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. Really?

    Considering Rubio wanted seven debates & Meek & Crist wanted much less I doubt seriously he was running fr anything.

    September 3, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    Shucks, I agree with you 100%. However, the press finding out the truth may go against their corporate overlords' direction in this matter. Besides Sarah Palin may tweet something, so "journalists" have to be prepared.

    September 3, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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