Freshman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has not earned a gold star for attendance in his tenure in the Senate. Rubio's run for the White House has kept him away from some Senate votes, but even prior to hitting the campaign hustings, Senator Rubio had developed a reputation for being absent in the Senate.
On the eve of the CNBC GOP Debate, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel published an abrasive editorial demanding that Senator "Rubio should resign and not rip us off". Inevitably, this was going to be brought up during the debate.
Former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) seized the the opportunity of Rubio's spotty Senate attendance at the record to make headlines by attacking his fellow Floridian with canned attacks.
But Rubio had done his homework and anticipated the attack. Rubio rightly pointed out that during Senator Bob Graham's quixotic 2000 Presidential campaign that he missed 40% of the votes. Moreover, Senator John Kerry missed a super majority of Senate votes while being the 2004 Democrat nominee. When Rubio jabbed back at Jeb, he noted that Jeb was emulating McCain, who also missed many votes when running for President.
Even though Rubio was well prepared for the attack about absenteeism from the media and his electoral opponent, it did not sound too scripted or wooden. Rubio also made the first foray into attacking the liberal media bias, which came to fruition by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX).