MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In Miami Thursday, a heckler dunned Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for not attending town hall meetings organized by citizens, and not holding one of his own.
Through loud protests over immigration reform, the so-called Muslim ban and attacks on Planned Parenthood funding, Rubio has not had a public presence.
He didn’t attend a town hall focused on Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch Thursday night in Southwest Miami-Dade.
“He needs to be here to explain what he wants to do,” said Kristen Rosen Gonzalez.
Organizers want Rubio to oppose Gorsuch’s nomination.
“The message we’re hoping to send here is the constituents of Marco Rubio will be heard,” said Michael Williams of Miami Indivisible, one of the groups that organized the town hall. “We want all of the voices of the people in attendance tonight to be heard.”
Critics fear if Neil Gorsuch is confirmed, he will reverse a woman’s right to choose, Roe V. Wade. In previous rulings on a federal appeals court Gorsuch voted to allow companies to withhold birth control from employees’ health coverage plans.
“We can’t afford to go backward,” said U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL District 22). “Women have a constitutional right to make their own decisions about their own bodies.”
A spokesperson for Sen. Rubio said in a statement that he was not invited to attend the town hall, organized by women’s and civil rights groups. They say that’s not true.
“He was formally invited. We told his executive director out of his Doral office through email,” said Williams.
In any event, Rubio in the statement issued by his office said he would not attend the meeting if he were invited. He called the organizers “left wing extremists” who do not appreciate the science that shows aborted fetuses feel pain.
“Senator Rubio believes there is no human right more fundamental than the right to life, and every human being is entitled to the protection of our laws,” said the statement.
As for the nomination of Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Rubio issued a statement saying “Judge Gorsuch is a highly qualified, mainstream jurist, which is why he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to the Circuit Court in 2006.”
Florida Pro-life activists with the Pro-Life Court Coalition was urging Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) to confirm Gorsuch at a rally outside his Coral Gables office Thursday evening.