Sen. Marco Rubio missed a key Senate vote on defense spending Tuesday so that he could continue campaigning in New Hampshire, a Rubio spokesman told CNN.
Rubio was not present for the Senate’s vote on the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which passed 73 to 26. The vote was expected to be close.
Rubio has said that he will “do everything possible to be” present for any vote “where my vote is going to make a difference or an issue of major national significance or importance.”
“But I am going to miss votes, I’m running for president,” Rubio said Monday on CNBC. “When I miss a vote, it’s not because I’m out playing golf. We’re out campaigning for the future of America where I believe I can make more of a difference as president than I could as a senator.”
Rubio has the worst voting attendance record of any other senator for 2015, a fact that GOP presidential foe Donald Trump has been hammering home in recent weeks.
The left was quick to seize on Rubio’s absence. Less than an hour after it was reported that Rubio would miss the vote, the left-aligned PAC American Bridge 21st Century blasted out an email to reporters mocking Rubio with a satirical “missing” poster highlighting his poor voting record.
“It’s no secret why Rubio is playing hooky,” wrote press secretary Preston Maddock. “He’s shirking his duties to his constituents in Florida to further his personal political ambitions.”
CNN’s Tal Kopan contributed to this report.