Sen. Marco Rubio stayed out of the limelight Wednesday, flying under the radar on the day of Hillary Clinton’s long-awaited and often heated Senate and House Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Benghazi.
The Florida Republican was one of many Senators who questioned the Secretary of State about the U.S. consulate attacks in Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, but unlike other high-profile questioners, Rubio, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, played it cool.
The Senator asked Clinton generic questions about her prior knowledge of the need for additional security in Libya, but avoided the aggressive questioning tactics of 2008 presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and fellow 2016 hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), both of whom came off as highly combative and confrontational.
Instead, the Florida Senator commended Clinton for her service, both as a Senator and in her current role.
Following the hearing, Rubio kept out of the spotlight and did not answer questions from the press for the remainder of the day.
Later in the afternoon, the Senator spoke at an education event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he addressed the importance of keeping the middle class strong and fixing the skills crisis that could jeopardize the future of the middle class.
Rubio made no groundbreaking statements in the speech, and once he finished speaking, he exited the room and shook hands with a few of the guests in the lobby of the Chamber. When a reporter asked if he would take questions, Rubio said he didn’t have time and left the building.
Even though the 2012 presidential campaign has been over for less than three months, Rubio’s name commonly comes up as a future candidate, and he is the anticipated GOP frontrunner in 2016. If Rubio really does intend to run for President, his decision today to purposefully lay low, allowing Paul to claim the spotlight, is odd. More importantly, Rubio skipped an opportunity to stick it to the woman who will most likely be his Democratic rival in four years should they run for and with their respective parties’ nominations.