Marco Rubio fired off an extended series of tweets late Monday night, alternating between sharp jabs and light jokes, aimed at a pair of Washington Post reports about his plans for his political future and his alleged “hate” for the Senate, a word the Florida senator disputes.
Criticizing the use of anonymous sources, Rubio, who has 1.36 million followers, took the opportunity to make an enigmatic joke about his political future, winking at his former rival Donald Trump.
“As for future in politics, well it’s nearly impossible for someone not in office to ever become a successful candidate for President. Right?,” he wrote, a possible nod to Trump – the presumptive Republican presidential nominee – who has never held elected public office.
But Rubio also reiterated he planned to leave politics at the end of his Senate term, writing, “I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January.”
The Republican former presidential hopeful criticized the anonymous sources cited in the Post stories on potential vice presidential candidates for Trump, reporting that Rubio was “sort of betwixt and between when it comes to his next move” and “a bit at sea in terms of his next step politically” – be it staying in the senate, toeing the VP waters or leaving politics, his stated intention.
“Funny to read about unnamed ‘people close’ to me who claim to know my thinking on future plans. They just make it up,” Rubio wrote.
The former presidential candidate proceeded to criticize a Washington Post report from October, which cited another anonymous source claiming Rubio “hates” working in the Senate.
“Flashback to another article quoting a ‘longtime friend’ saying I ‘hate’ Senate. Words I have NEVER said to anyone,” he said.
Rubio also took issue with the use of anonymous sources in the reports, writing, “Unnamed sources ‘close to’ often just people who want to sound like they are in the know. And reporters desperate for content just accept it.”
He added, “Word of advice, people often claim to know more than they really do because they enjoy status of being perceived as “in the know.”
CNN has reached out to the Washington Post for comment. Post reporter Callum Borcher, writing about Rubio’s tweets, sought to rebut some of the criticisms.
“To be clear, neither The Fix (the Washington Post blog that published the story) nor anyone else needs to rely on people close to Rubio to report that he won’t be joining Trump on the GOP ticket,” Borches wrote on the Post site. “Rubio himself said last week that he doesn’t want the job. And Trump said over the weekend that he isn’t considering his onetime rival.”
He wrote, “The unnamed sources in Chris’ story simply indicated that Rubio is torn about his next move — which is pretty apparent. He is retiring from the Senate in January but hasn’t said what he will do next. In the midst of his tweetstorm, Rubio even appeared to suggest he might run for president again. But he hasn’t made a commitment one way or the other.”
Borcher also addressed the story from last October mentioned by Rubio, saying, “Rubio had a chance to deny that he hates the Senate before publication. He did — and was quoted doing so” in the story.
“Rubio’s position was represented from the start. But there was plenty of evidence to support the idea that he does, in fact, hate the Senate. For one thing, he had already said he wouldn’t seek reelection if his White House campaign fell short. For another, he was routinely skipping votes and meetings,” Borcher adds, citing an interview Rubio did at the time with CNN expressing frustration with the Senate vote schedule.
Rubio also had some fun Tuesday night, citing anonymous sources to describe his sleeping habits and gym routine.
“A source ‘close to Rubio’ says he was tired after long day & has decided to sleep for a few hours before tomorrow’s ZIKA debate in Senate,” Rubio tweeted.
“A ‘longtime friend’ says Rubio is ‘betwixt and between’ when it comes to whether to chest or legs tomorrow at gym.”
“According to source who knows his cousins, wife’s dentist, Rubio could do cardio instead.”
Rubio concluded his thoughts around 11:30 p.m. ET, suggesting he plans to “slowly increase” his use of Twitter.
“Ok that’s enough for one night. Twitter isn’t something you should just rush back into. You have to slowly increase the dosage…….”
On Tuesday, Rubio was back at by 7 a.m., tweeting his praise for news that Twitter will stop including links and pictures in its 140-character limit.
“This is a very promising development. Just in time for my return to Twitter.”