The special elections in Georgia and South Carolina Tuesday highlighted the growing disconnect between Washington and the rest of the nation, as most of the country doesn't follow politics on a minute-by-minute basis, Sen. Marco Rubio believes.
"Keeping control of the House is important, and those are two important seats in that regard," the Florida Republican told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program on Wednesday. "But one of the things we're constantly reminded of is there's a political Washington bubble."
There are people who watch cable news all day, and those from the rest of the country, who do not follow the news constantly, he continued.
"Sometimes I think people think that because someone or something is unpopular among the chattering class within Washington and New York, then that somehow applies in Georgia or South Carolina, many places in Florida, and it's just not true," Rubio said. "That disconnect was brought to light in the presidential race in 2016, and I think it's been brought to light again last night."
Americans are talking about healthcare, and Rubio said the Senate's stand at this point is one in which the first step is still being crafted.
"I can just tell you, knowing the Senate even in the Republican Congress, members are going to want an opportunity to weigh in and make changes and adjustments," said Rubio. "I, for example, will look at it and say 'okay, I most certainly want to get rid of Obamacare. How is this way of getting rid of Obamacare and replacing it good for Florida? Does it treat us fairly?' Florida didn't expand Medicaid. We shouldn't be punished for doing the right thing."
The reform effort is largely focused on the individual market and Medicaid, said Rubio, and that's what the Senate is now debating.
Even if the reform measures are rolled out quickly so there can be a vote, there will still be differences that will need to be ironed out, said Rubio.
"We want to get to this, and we want to do this as quickly as possible having an impact on the markets in the sense that people want to know what the replacement is going to be," said Rubio, "but we have to do it right. One of the reasons why Obamacare failed is because they rushed it through and didn't fully understand that the famous quote we need to pass it, so we can see what's in it."
Republicans don't want to make that same mistake, said Rubio, so this law needs to be done right.
"Once this passes, it's going to be harder to get back and try to fix it," the senator said.
Rubio also joked about the attention being made about an awkward hug between him and Ivanka Trump before their meeting on "pro-family" tax reform Tuesday.
"This thing has been thoroughly investigated," he said. "It's important that the senator is able to carry out a greeting. It's clear it was not actually a hug, it was more of a traditional Cuban greeting that I've executed thousands of times. In fact, I'm board certified in it."
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