One of Marco Rubio’s chief assets that he’s campaigned on during his run for the White House is that he would be representing a new generation of leadership in Washington.
“Are You Ready for a New American Century?” the 44-year-old Florida Senator asks on the homepage of his campaign website.
On the eve of the fifth Republican presidential debate in Las Vegas, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was asked on a conference call if she feared Rubio’s appeal with millennial voters.
“When millennials get a good close look, they’ll see what we see in Florida,” the DNC Chair quipped. “That there’s no ‘there’ there.”
The South Florida congresswoman, who served together with Rubio in the Florida Legislature over a decade ago, said that millennials will find his views to be among “the most extreme on the issues that are important to millennials,” who are generally classified as people under the age of 30 or so.
“Marco Rubio opposes gay marriage and has consistently not only opposed a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices, he has the most extreme position and even says that abortion should not be available even if a woman is raped or a victim of incest,” she added. “Millennials have specifically embraced the idea that we need to make this country better together.”
Rubio’s position on abortion – that he opposes all such abortion, without an exception for rape and/or incest – certainly puts him to the far right even with the other Republicans in the presidential race when it comes to the issue of choice. He recently walked his position back slightly, saying that he unequivocally backs abortion exceptions when the life of the mother is in danger. He said he also would back legislation with allowances for cases of rape and incest — even though he personally doesn’t support those exceptions.
Wasserman Schultz also chastised Rubio, Jeb Bush and the other GOP presidential candidates for saying that they would back Donald Trump if he becomes the GOP’s presidential nominee next year.
The DNC Chair’s comments came on the same day that an NBC News and the Wall Street Journal poll published on Monday showed Rubio winning a head-to-head clash with Hillary Clinton, 48 percent to 45 percent (within the poll’s margin of error.) Among independents, his margin of victory would be 44 percent to her 37 percent.
Among Hispanics, Rubio would get 36 percent of the vote, compared to Clinton’s 59 percent. Rubio would also perform best with female voters out of the top GOP contenders, capturing 44 percent to Clinton’s 51 percent.
The poll was conducted between December 6-9 of 1,000 adults, including 350 respondents with a cell phone only and 32 respondents reached on a cell phone but who also have a land land. The margin of error for 400 interviews among Republican Primary Voters is ±4.90% The margin of error for 400 interviews among Democratic Primary Voters is ±4.90%