WASHINGTON -- Senators who run for president generally spend a lot of time away from their day jobs traveling around the country asking for a promotion.
Of course, they continue to get their federal paychecks, but Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declared Tuesday that it should be different for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who had the worst attendance record going into the Super Tuesday stretch, when almost all the senators quit showing up for work.
Rubio also had the worst attendance before the campaign really got going.
Reid had been asked about Rubio's decision to back out of his pledge to not run for re-election, getting back into the Florida GOP Senate primary last week, two days before the filing deadline.
Reid was all too glad to offer his opinion, after first noting that Rubio announced his Senate bid on the same day he missed a classified Foreign Relations Committee hearing on arms sales.
"I feel that Marco Rubio should be sued to pay back all the money that the federal government paid him while he was off playing around running for president," Reid said.
"Not only did he take those checks, cash every one of them, every month, he was never here," Reid said. "And the state of Florida was missing a senator during that period of time. So Marco Rubio, in my opinion, owes the American taxpayers money, and owes the people of the state of Florida some time."
Senate Republican leaders had to cajole Rubio to seek his job again, with the other GOP contenders faring poorly against Democrats in opinion polls. Rubio leads his would-be Democratic rivals, Florida Reps. Alan Grayson and Patrick Murphy.
Reid did not answer a hastily shouted question from reporters about whether Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) should be held to the same standard. Sanders' attendance was significantly better than Rubio's early on, but late in the contest it was just as bad, and worse around the time Rubio dropped out.