JESUS TORRES, 97.9 FM (Orlando, FL): There’s been discussion of the nomination of this official, of Becerra- Xavier Becerra, as Health Secretary. This would obviously mean a Hispanic occupies this position, and you’ve been a critic of his, based on this nomination. The confirmation hearings began yesterday, and whoever leads the (HHS) is going to have a major role with regard to how this pandemic is handled and how we as a nation emerge from it. Are you still a critic of this nomination? Why do you oppose the nomination of Secretary Becerra?
U.S. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL): I’m 100% opposed, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, on the issue of (Becerra) being Hispanic. Well, I’m also Hispanic, and I ran for president, there were plenty of Hispanic Democrats throughout the country who criticized and attacked me. I’ve had Hispanics oppose me in each of my campaigns so yeah, I’ve never asked anyone to vote for me simply because I’m Hispanic and likewise, no one should ask me to do that. This is about a very important role, which is (HHS). First of all, (Becerra) has no experience in health care. He was the Attorney General of California. Where he did have experience, for example, was in suing nuns and religiously affiliated hospital systems, as well as everyone else, over a variety of social causes that have nothing to do with (health care). So excessive was his overreach that in fact the L.A. Times, a newspaper that is not conservative, criticized him for beating up on those persons. He’s what is referred to in English as a “culture warrior”. And we need someone who is... what we need is someone who is an expert on healthcare issues, specifically at a time like this. He doesn’t have that qualification, and what’s more- it’s troubling... the way he… I know how he used his power as Attorney General of California in order to pound on faith-based groups and everything else. Imagine what he could do with the power (of HHS) as the nation’s Health Secretary.