FOX News’ “The O’Reilly Factor”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
May 20, 2014
FOX News’ Bill O’Reilly: “Do you believe President Obama is bored? What is it that there is no urgency and that these things keep — scandals, whatever you want to call them — keep happening and the White House doesn't seem to know anything about it? What is that?”
Senator Marco Rubio: “I would point to three things. I think that first, they have a systemic problem of governing. Again, I mean, this is a campaign that was very good at messaging, but they have no competence in terms of governing. So that’s the first part of it.
“The second part of it, I think, is any time an issue arises they are more concerned about what they are going to say, than what they are going to do. To them, it's an opportunity to message, as opposed to an opportunity to solve it.
“And here's the third problem. Any time that criticism arises from Republicans, their first reaction is not to look at it and say, ‘Well let's see if there is some credibility here.’ Their first reaction is to label it or treat it as some sort of a partisan attack. For example, I have been in the Senate now three and a half years. A significant amount of my constituent case work are complaints about the VA. We’ve been hearing that and reporting that, as have other offices, for a while. And the initial reaction is always, ‘That's just partisan Republicans trying to embarrass us.’ So those three things, I think, really explain why these things keep happening.”
O’Reilly: “Do you believe that the President is incapable of admitting a mistake? I will point to Sebelius, who was in charge of the disastrous rollout for Obamacare. And now, Shinseki. No doubt is he a patriot, but he is an incompetent administrator. I think that's beyond a reasonable doubt. So these people should have been replaced immediately when these bad things break. You know, like the Los Angeles Clippers owner. He’s out of there in two days. You know, when you have something like that, the leadership has to change. But it doesn't. Why do you think that is?”
Rubio: “Well I think, again, part of it is this initial reaction to circle the wagons and say, you know, ‘We’re going to protect our people. This is a partisan attack.’”
O’Reilly: “But Why? Why protect incompetent people?”
Rubio: “That's a good question. But let me give you an example of that. We have a bill that I have filed that allows the director to fire incompetent middle-level managers. The Administration does not support that because they are more interested in protecting the sanctity of civil service, than they are in being able to hold people accountable. So even if you fired Shinseki, you’re still going to have a systemic problem in that agency. A very serious one now…”
O’Reilly: “But at least you send a message as the leader.”
Rubio: “Right, but my point is you still want to be able to fire the people that work there.”
O’Reilly: “Right. But the President doesn't even send any messages. He doesn't seem to be that outraged about this stuff, and it's one after the other, after the other. All right.”
Rubio: “Because, again, they always take these criticisms as a partisan thing when, in fact, this is a very valid and legitimate complaint that people have. A very serious crisis.”
O’Reilly: “All right. It is. And they should be seeing the polls, and the American people are turning against the Administration.”