ABC’s Jon Karl Argues With Rubio Over Hurricane Relief Spending

Political News

On ABC’s This Week, co-moderator John Karl on Sunday used a portion of his interview with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) to fight with him over whether Rubio will support federal aid for his state’s hurricane recovery efforts if the bill has pork spending in it. Despite Rubio making his position crystal clear over the years, Karl insisted on haranguing the Senator. 

Attempting to make Rubio seem like a hypocrite, Karl claimed: “Back in 2013 you voted against the relief bill for hurricane, for Superstorm Sandy, you said that it included extraneous materials, extraneous items that had nothing to do with emergency relief, it included pork.” 

Karl then asked Rubio: “will you make the same stand here? Will you insist that this emergency bill include only money to deal with this catastrophe?” 

Responding to Karl’s partisan gotcha question, Rubio noted that among the dozens of disaster relief packages in the years since Hurricane Sandy, he voted for all of them. 

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“In fact, I’ve supported them without pay-fors like other people say they want the money paid for,” Rubio added, noting that: “What I won’t support is things that are not emergency relief.”

Not happy that Rubio didn’t take the bait, Karl asked again “will you take the same stand if Congress adds as they often do with emergency bills items that don’t have anything to do with recovery from this hurricane, will you vote against the emergency bill for Florida?” 

Rubio responded that “it won’t come to that, it’s our state, so if we’re not asking for that and we’re saying we don’t need it and it has nothing to do with emergency relief for Florida then why would it be in there?” 

“New Jersey and the other states didn’t request the extraneous items in that emergency bill in 2013, you voted against that,” Karl falsely claimed before asking a third time if Rubio would vote for a pork laden hurricane relief bill. 

Rubio responded by setting the record straight after Karl’s partisan lies: “Frankly that’s not accurate. There was requests made from not just some of those states that were impacted.” 

Unlike New Jersey Democrats, Florida Republicans will be responsible and not request relief funding stuffed with unrelated wasteful spending. Karl is either too dumb to know the difference or is unable to tell the truth. 

This partisan interview full of ABC’s Jon Karl’s gotcha questions was made possible by Prevagen. Their information is linked. 

To read the relevant transcript click “expand”:

ABC’s This Week
10/2/2022
9:12:25 a.m. Eastern

JON KARL: You and Senator Rick Scott have already said Congress is going to need to step up, allocate money for this relief effort. That’s of course not surprising, back in 2013 you voted against the relief bill for hurricane, for Superstorm Sandy, you said that it included extraneous materials, extraneous items that had nothing to do with emergency relief, it included pork. Will you make the same stand here? Will you insist that this emergency bill include only money to deal with this catastrophe?

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: Well I said at the time and since Sandy we’ve had multiple votes for emergency relief all over the country, including wildfires and I’ve supported all of them. In fact, I’ve supported them without pay-fors like other people say they want the money paid for. What I won’t support is things that are not emergency relief. What we’re going to ask for Florida is what we supported for every other state in the country that’s been affected by natural disasters is emergency relief designed to be spent immediately to help the people affected now, what happened with that bill back in 2013 is it wasn’t just emergency relief it included funding that should have gone through the funding process, cars for DHS, roof at the Smithsonian, fisheries in Alaska. 

Maybe meritorious projects but that should go through the normal process. This is about emergency relief. So I think what we’ll fight for the money as we supported for other states that’s needed for emergency relief. Money that’s going to be spent now. Not money that’s going to be spent five years from now, on projects that may be worthy, may be very necessary, but that should go through the normal process not the emergency process. That’s what we’ll ask for Florida. That’s what we always supported.

KARL: So, let me just be clear on this, will you take the same stand if Congress adds as they often do with emergency bills items that don’t have anything to do with recovery from this hurricane, will you vote against the emergency bill for Florida? 

RUBIO: Well it shouldn’t—it won’t come to that, it’s our state, so if we’re not asking for that and we’re saying we don’t need it and it has nothing to do with emergency relief for Florida then why would it be in there? Why would somebody add something from another state that’s not impacted by the storm?So it shouldn’t come to that fork in the road. Because It’s an unnecessary thing. It’s our request. So our request—

[crosstalk]

KARL: Well, New Jersey and the other states didn’t request the extraneous items in that emergency bill in 2013, you voted against that. So I’m just asking, would you go so far as to vote against a bill that would also help – 

RUBIO: Frankly that’s not accurate. There was requests made from not just some of those states that were impacted. But some of those allied with the people and the people from those states weren’t complaining about that spending at the time unfortunately. Maybe some of them were but the majority were not. They just wanted the emergency piece. They didn’t care if it came with one out of six dollars was for immediate spending. 

So, in our case we’re not going to ask for the other $5 we’re just going to ask for that one that has to deal with emergency relief. I imagine South Carolina, North Carolina, other states in the northeast will have the same. And there are other natural disasters that are occurring and we may need to include Puerto Rico in that request that they’ll need additional funding. So that’s what we’re going to focus on and that’s what we’re going to push for, and that’s what we’re going to insist on. We’re going to be consistent on that.

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