Politics

Scarborough Slams Rubio as ‘Conspiracy Theorist’ for Demanding Florida Follow the Law

'Morning Joe' co-host blasted the senator for insisting Broward County use mandated election protocols as ballot scandal looms

Image Credit: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for Meet The Press & Shutterstock

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough accused Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Friday of concocting a “conspiracy theory” regarding the ongoing controversy in two Florida counties that are still counting an undisclosed number of ballots — simply because Rubio wantsFlorida’s own laws to be followed.

This activity follows Tuesday’s midterm elections and the resulting recount controversy since then.

It initially appeared that outgoing Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) had prevailed in their races against incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, respectively — by comfortable enough margins.

But outstanding ballots are mysteriously still pouring in from two key counties: Broward and Palm Beach.

Gillum now is considering seeking a recount because of the number of outstanding ballots still left to count, while Nelson’s campaign announced that his election is also headed for a recount because Scott’s lead suddenly dropped to less than one-half percent.

“So, it has been over 48 hours since the polls closed and Broward and Palm Beach Counties are still finding and counting ballots — and the supervisors — Brenda Snipes and Susan Bucher — cannot seem to say how many ballots still exist or where these ballots came from, or where they have been,” Scott told reporters Thursday.

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“No ragtag group of liberal activists or lawyers from D.C. will be allowed to steal this election from the voters in the state of Florida,” Scott added pointedly.

For his part, Rubio (pictured above right) issued a lengthy series of tweets both Thursday and Friday in which he rebuked Broward County, in particular, and wondered why it wasn’t complying fully with Florida election laws.

“Some partisans continue trying to portray what is happening in #BrowardCounty as normal & criticism of it as effort to stop vote counting. This is an effort to deflect attention away from highly irregular conduct … Conduct of #BrowardElections office is in blatant violation of state law,” Rubio tweeted Friday.

“No early votes have been cast since Sunday. They had 2 days to tabulate them & submit to state by 7:30pm Tuesday as required by law. Yet as of latest update these are still only partially completed … If #BrowardElections has some legitimate reason for why they have been unable to tabulate & report ballots they have had since Sunday night, like every other county did,they should disclose it. Instead they continue to operate under an indefensible shroud of secrecy,” Rubio added in his tweet.

Rubio continued, “How can anyone excuse #BrowardElections’ blanket refusal to reveal the number of ballots cast, counted & left to be counted? Knowing how many ballots they have in their possession is one of the most important things they are required to keep track of.”

“A new & troubling allegation has emerged. A statement under penalty of perjury that #PalmBeachCounty filled out new ballots to replace damaged ones without allowing campaign representative to witness the process of creating the new ballot as required by #Florida law,” the senator also tweeted.

Later on, Rubio noted that a court ordered Snipes to turn over vote counts Friday, also finding her in violation of state public record laws.

But Scarborough (above left) took issue with Rubio’s accusations and concerns from Thursday, in particular, which ran along the same lines.

Scarborough tweeted Thursday, “@marcorubio is fighting against every citizen’s vote being counted in Florida. #FloridaRecount.”

Related: Florida Must Do Everything Possible to ‘Protect the Integrity’ of the Election Process

Rubio replied directly to Scarborough that same day, writing, “When did I ask anyone to stop counting? And how is criticizing repeated election failures by same election official a fight to stop vote counting? Why can’t #BrowardCounty elections do what 65 of 67 counties did, count all votes in timely way & in compliance with #Florida law?”

But Rubio only earned derision and mockery from Scarborough during Friday’s “Morning Joe” show.

“They are trying to stop the votes from being counted. I’ll say it. They’re trying to stop my vote from being counted. I cast an absentee ballot. They don’t want that to be counted, or people like me who handed in an absentee ballot at the last minute. I mean, that’s Marco Rubio’s idea of democracy?” Scarborough said.

“Count every vote. That’s where the Republican Party stood 18 years ago. Now Marco Rubio and Donald Trump and Rick Scott, where do they stand?” Scarborough added.

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski chimed in with, “On the side of winning, no matter what.”

“‘Only count our votes. Don’t count the votes.’ Marco Rubio is what disappoints me the most, that he’s concocting a conspiracy theory. For what? For what? Why? Why does he want to damage his reputation for the benefit of Donald Trump?” Scarborough wondered.

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