Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said last night that President Obama had been hurt in his home state by support for gay marriage, but added it wouldn’t be an issue that would cost Obama the election.
“It’s not the most important issue but it’s an important issue to people,” Rubio told Bill O’Reilly on Fox. “We have a constitutional amendment in Florida that defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman as a very particular institution.”
O’Reilly pressed Rubio on whether Obama’s recent coming-out on the issue would hurt him with the Hispanic community in Florida.
“I don’t think that’s the issue that’s going to decide the election,” Rubio said, agreeing that it’s an important issue for Hispanics. “But I don’t want to overstate that it’s going to be one that decides the election. It’s an important issue.”
Rubio said that Obama won Florida in 2008 as “an idea,” but now the swing state is Mitt Romney’s for the taking.
“I honestly believe that Mitt Romney is going to win Florida and therefore win the presidency,” the senator said. Obama has not only a record to defend, he added, but “his rhetoric is like anybody else in Washington. He’s divisive — dividing Americans against each other. Floridians aren’t going to like that.”
O’Reilly hammered Rubio hard on the VP question, but the senator wouldn’t budge.
“Obviously I’m being very respectful of the process they’re going through and trying not comment on it,” Rubio said. “I will say this, though: Mitt Romney is someone who has made a lot of good decisions in his life consistently. It’s a record of good decisions in his personal life, his business life, his political life, and I think he’s going to make a great decision.”