U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), one of the top three or four candidates for the Republican presidential nomination (depending on which poll you believe), is defending a last minute gun purchase on Christmas Eve, saying it will be used to defend his family and the United States from the Islamic State.
In an interview with Face the Nation‘s John Dickerson, Marco Rubio’s gun purchase was called into question by the CBS News anchor.
“I’m a strong supporter of the second amendment. I have a right to protect my family if someone were to come after us,” Think Progress quoted the senator as saying. “In fact, if ISIS were to visit us, or our communities, at any moment, the last line of defense between ISIS and my family is the ability that I have to protect my family from them, or from a criminal, or anyone else who seeks to do us harm. Millions of Americans feel that way.”
During his visit to the store, The New York Times said Rubio claims to have encountered many customers afraid of President Barack Obama’s latest executive orders, which target the sale of firearms by both dealers and hobbyists.
“Mr. Rubio on Friday told employees of Sturm, Ruger & Co., a gun manufacturing company here, that he sought to buy a weapon on Dec. 24 and found that the store he went to “was packed” with young and old customers, some of them, he said, worried that President Obama would further restrict their right to purchase guns. He did not say whether the gun was meant as a gift or where the store was.”
The Daily Caller reports gun sales at record levels as a result of President Obama’s actions, with scores of buyers hitting up stores to stock up based on the belief that the president will seek to ban certain types of weapons or ammunition. Such an action has not yet been attempted using an executive order by the president, though Obama has in the past made calls for assault weapons bans and other restrictions.
The discussion on CBS‘ Sunday morning show was a far cry from the discussion Republican front-runner Donald Trump was having on CNN‘s Sunday morning show, State of the Union. During the interview, host Jake Tapper asked Trump about his statements questioning the eligibility of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to be president based on his birth in Calgary, Albert, a city in Canadian Rockies. When asked whether Cruz, whose mother was an American and his father a Cuban, was the same as Rubio, Trump said there was a difference.
“It’s a different, very different thing because he (Rubio) was born here. He was born on the land…. Ted was not born on the land, and there’s a very strict reading that you have to be born on the land. (Harvard Law professor) Laurence Tribe actually said based on Ted’s views, he would have to be born on the land.”
It seems Marco Rubio’s citizenship is solid in Trump’s eyes, even if the senator is being questioned about Christmas Eve gun sales.
Trump, of course, has long been known to question the citizenship of President Obama, even pursuing an investigation into the president’s birth certificate that Trump said would prove the president was not born in Hawaii, but instead of born on foreign soil and therefore ineligible to serve as president. The theory follows some of the same arguments he has made against Cruz, who is leading Trump in Iowa polls just weeks out from the nation’s first in the nation caucus.
What do you think? Is Rubio’s Christmas Eve gun purchase unusual? Is Cruz qualified to be president? Is Rubio qualified? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]