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Marco Rubio says he doesn't like missing Senate votes

The Florida senator also defended his constituent services work

Washington CNN  — 

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday he hates missing votes, defending his at-times absentee status that has made him a recent target in the GOP presidential race.

“As far as votes, I don’t like missing votes, I hate it,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “We do our best effort to make it – we’ve canceled campaign events, especially for important votes, and we will definitely be there for any vote in which our vote would be decisive on making a difference on the outcome.”

Rubio has missed 34% of his votes in the Senate so far this year, according to GovTrack.

But the Florida senator said worse than his attendance record is the thought of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

“Here’s what I would hate more, and that is to wake up on the first Wednesday of November in 2016 to the news that Hillary Clinton has been elected president of the United States,” Rubio said.

Rubio defends skipping Senate votes

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tried to score points in Wednesday night’s GOP debate by knocking Rubio on his record for missing Senate votes. Rubio offered a strong defense on stage that he continued on Thursday.

Rubio said he is present when it comes to helping the people of the Florida directly.

“The vast majority of work that happens in any Senate office is direct constituent services,” he said. “And we’re going to continue to provide that service. It’s the thing I’m most of, we’re most proud about.”

But Rubio’s absence is a significant problem, Tim Miller, Bush’s communications director, told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” on Thursday.

“In the broader debate over who do voters trust to do the job, Marco’s been in the Senate for six years and he hasn’t done anything,” he said. “He didn’t show up to votes not just since he started to run for president, but long before. As soon as he got there, he had the worst voter record in the Senate.”

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