Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida speaks with NH1 News at Atkinson Country Club on Jan. 3

Jan 4, 2016 12:25 AM

Steinhauser: Marco Rubio tells NH1 News Chris Christie's 'a funny guy'

NH1 Political Director -

ATKINSON – Marco Rubio’s deflecting the latest salvos directed at him over his poor voting record in the U.S. Senate.

The most recent criticism of the Florida Republican’s missed votes comes for a rival for the GOP presidential nomination, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Asked about Christie’s comments in a one-on-one interview Sunday with NH1 News, Rubio said “Chris is looking for an advantage. I like him very much. He’s a funny guy. We have some significant policy differences.”

“I want those votes that are happening in Washington to be good votes and to be meaningful, to actually mean something. When we vote on Obamacare to repeal it, I don’t want it to be just being a vote to send a symbolic message, I want a president that will sign this. I want a president that will rebuild our military. I want a president that rebuild our intelligence infrastructure. I want a president that will repeal these executive orders that this president has put into place. So when I’m not in Washington it’s because I’m out trying become president so we can turn this country around and recover from the disaster that Obama has made,” Rubio added.

Rubio spoke with NH1 News a couple of hours after another rival for the nomination, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, suggested that Republican voters had “amnesia” for considering a “one term United States senator” for president, a clear slight towards Rubio, a single term senator.

“I don’t believe Barack Obama’s failed as a president because he was a one term senator. He has seven years of presidential experience and he’s as bad today as he was at the beginning,” Rubio said.

“Barack Obama has failed as president because he doesn’t believe in free enterprise and has undermined it. Because he doesn’t believe in limited government and in fact has expanded the federal government. Because he’s weakened our military, weakened our intelligence programs, betrayed our allies, cut deals with our enemies and hurt our national security by cutting our defense spending. This is why Barack Obama’s been a failed leader and I can reverse every single one of those things I mentioned,” he continued.

With the primary less than six weeks away, Rubio said he’s picking up the pace when it comes to campaigning in the Granite State, adding “we’re going to continue to come back. We have four events today, another tomorrow. We’ll be back in a few days again.”

Rubio talked with NH1 News at the tail end of a Dolphins-Patriots watch party he hosted at Atkinson Country Club. The senator from Florida and longtime Dolphins fan was in enemy territory when it comes to NFL allegiances. But Rubio, a long suffering Dolphins fan, told NH1 News that he would win whether his football team won or lost.

“If they lose we’re going to get a better draft pick, lower, you know, earlier. And if we win, you know we beat the hated Patriots.”

The event was originally scheduled for Merrill’s Tavern, but was moved to a function room two floors below after more people RSVP’d than could be accommodated in the tavern.

Parked outside Atkinson Country Club: a shiny new Marco Rubio campaign bus.

By the way, the Dolphins ended up beating the Patriots.

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