On Sunday afternoon, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida posted a video on his Twitter account addressing the protests and riots that have ravaged major cities across the country for the last few days.
In his video, Rubio argued that while there were some people in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and other parts of the country who were protesting out of respect for George Floyd, there were others who simply wanted to create chaos. He claimed the people who were only interested in rioting were from both the far-left and far-right fringes and this claim angered many social media users on the conservative side of the social media spectrum.
Various domestic terror groups on BOTH far left & right are instigating & committing acts of violence & looting.
They are stealing the focus away from the murder of Mr. Floyd & the legitimate problems it revealed. pic.twitter.com/IQ8v7sMsU6
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 31, 2020
Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe was among the first to find an issue with Rubio’s comments. She first asked him in a reply to his video which right-wing groups he was referring to. She added she found his comments “cowardly.” Rubio quote tweeted her question and responded that he felt it would be cowardly to only call out left-wing groups like Antifa and ignore what others were doing.
“What would be cowardly is condemning what Antifa is doing in the street but ignore what certain extremist groups on the far right are encouraging followers to do on telegram & facebook. I am against ANY group that undermines law & order.”
Another conservative commentator, Ryan James Girdusky, also took issue with Rubio for not naming who on the right was responsible for the looting. He posted on Twitter that he was glad Rubio was never going to be president and he also called the approach cowardly.
“Name one single right-winger who’s causing looting… what a spineless individual Marco Rubio is. I’m glad you’re never going to be President.”
The Federalist‘s Molly Hemingway took issue with the senator’s comments as well. She also had a problem with him blaming both sides of the political aisle for the violence that has erupted across the country.
In a tweet on Sunday, which has since been removed, Hemingway called Rubio a kind of “truffle pig.” She added he was the kind of truffle pig that specialized in rooting out just the wrong thing to say in any given situation. She added the things he said tended to harm his caucus.
Rubio was far from the first to claim there are outside influences meshed into the protests. Officials from Minnesota gave a press conference earlier this weekend where they claimed at least 80 percent of those who were arrested in Minneapolis were from outside the state.
Officials, including Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, claimed these outsiders were there specifically to cause violence and create chaos.