As many in U.S. government shared tributes to Senator John Lewis in the wake of his death, Senator Marco Rubio joined in. Tweeting that it was an honor to know John Lewis, and calling the denator a historic American hero, Rubio appended a photo of himself with…Elijah Cummings, who also served in Congress, until his death last year.
Across party lines, elected officials have been expressing their sorrow at the death of Senator John Lewis, and praising his work for civil rights. Some conservatives, however, are getting backlash from constituents who say the praise falls flat when they worked against Lewis as legislators. No one, however, is getting called out to the degree Marco Rubio is.
“I guess all dead black men look alike to you,” responded one person, preserving for posterity a screenshot showing that Rubio had also made the photo with Elijah Cummings his profile photo. Many others said much the same.
— T👻r👻 D🐈⬛bl💀n 🎃🧙🏻♀️ (@taradublinrocks) July 18, 2020
Imagine spending so much time in the racism of the GOP, you can't tell the difference between two black men you spent years working with?
— T. Fisher King (@T_FisherKing) July 18, 2020
Waiting for Marco Rubio to blame a staffer for not being able to tell the difference between two prominent Black men.https://t.co/UzFHBHjG85
— Justice Before Unity (@firedup79) July 18, 2020
Rubio deleted the tweet, and reposted, acknowledging only that he had used the “wrong photo,” and failing to respond to the specific criticism or
Earlier today I tweeted an incorrect photo
John Lewis was a genuine American hero
I was honored to appear together in Miami 3 years ago at an event captured in video below
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 18, 2020
Rubio did also tweet his condolences to the family of Representative Elijah Cummings last year upon his death, but kept it a bit simpler, with a plain text statement and no attempt to add a photo of himself with the Cummings.
My condolences to the family of Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland who went to be with the Lord early this morning at 68 years of age.
May God grant his family strength & peace in these difficult moments & his soul eternal rest.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 17, 2019
Rubio’s only response to the accusations of racial bias in mixing up two Black legislators, with whom he worked for years, was to include in his replacement tweet a link to a video of himself speaking praise of Senator Lewis at a Martin Luther King Day event.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com