Florida school shooting survivor Cameron Kasky challenges Sen. Marco Rubio: "Can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA?" (Kasky reacts in a tweet below.)
"I do support the Second Amendment. And I also support the right of you and everyone here to be able to go to school and be safe," Rubio said. "And I do support any law that would keep guns out of the hands of a deranged killer, and that's why I support the things I have stood for and fought for."
"The influence of these groups comes not from money, the influence comes from the millions of people that agree with the agenda," he continued.
"Wait, hold on," Kasky responded. "So, right now in the name of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?"
Rubio didn't directly answer the question, saying "if people want to support my agenda, they’re welcome to do so."
"But they buy into my ideas, I don't buy into theirs," Rubio said about the NRA.
Rubio has an A+ rating from NRA and has received more than $3 million in donations from the organization over the course of his career.
Rubio is just getting owned by the teens pic.twitter.com/wsUNLRzg54— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) February 22, 2018
"Thank you all for watching the Comedy Central Roast of the NRA and the coming out party for my ADHD," Kasky said of his questioning of Rubio.
Thank you all for watching the Comedy Central Roast of the NRA and the coming out party for my ADHD. #NeverAgain #MarchForOurLives— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) February 22, 2018
PS thank you @marcorubio for showing up to that like a champ. A+ dude, and not just from the @NRA
Video and transcript courtesy of CNN.
CAMERON KASKY: Thank you. And guys, look, this isn't about red and blue. We can't boo people because they're democrats and boo people because they're republicans. Anyone who is willing to show change, no matter where they're from, anyone who is willing to start to make a difference is somebody we need on our side here. And this is about people who are for making a difference to save us and people who are against it and prefer money. So Senator Rubio, can you tell me right now that you will not accept a single donation from the NRA in the future?
KASKY: I wish I could have -- I wish I could have spoken -- I wished I could have asked the NRA lady a question. I would ask her, how she can look in the mirror, considering the fact she has children, but maybe she avoids those.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: I'm sorry, what was that?
KASKY: I don't freaking know.
RUBIO: That’s okay --
TAPPER: The question is about NRA money.
RUBIO: -- so number one, the positions I hold on these issues of the second amendment -- I’ve held since the day entered office in the city of West Miami as an elected official.
Number two -- no. The answer to the question is that people buy into my agenda. And I do support the Second Amendment. And I also support the right of you and everyone here to be able to go to school and be safe.
And I do support any law that would keep guns out of the hands of a deranged killer. And that's why I support the things that I have stood for and fought for --
KASKY: No more -- no more NRA money?
RUBIO: -- during my time here.
KASKY: More NRA money?
RUBIO: I -- there -- that is the wrong way to look -- first of all, the answer is, people buy into my agenda.
KASKY: You can say no.
RUBIO: Well -- I -- I -- the influence of any group --
KASKY: Guys, come on , be quiet. We're gonna be here all night.
RUBIO: The influence of these groups comes not from money. The influence comes from the millions of people that agree with the agenda. The millions...
KASKY: See, I see...
RUBIO: -- of Americans that support the NRA, and who...
TAPPER: All right.
RUBIO: -- support gun rights...
TAPPER: Sorry, Senator.
KASKY: Guys, guys, if you...
TAPPER: Cameron is having a conversation with Senator Rubio. Let's let them talk.
RUBIO: But I -- I -- listen. I respect -- you can ask that question, and I can tell you that I -- people buy into my agenda. I will answer any questions you guys have about any policy issue...
KASKY: Right -- right -- right now --
Guys, be quiet, be quiet. You know we're gonna be here all night.
RUBIO: And I -- and I just think that, ultimately, that is not our goal here. Our goal here is to move forward...
KASKY: Wait, so, hold on. So -- so right now...
RUBIO: ... and prevent -- and prevent this from ever happening again.
KASKY: ... in the name -- in the name of 17 people, you cannot ask the NRA to keep their money out of your campaign?
RUBIO: I think in the name of 17 people, I can pledge to you that I will support any law that will prevent a killer like this from getting a gun.
KASKY: No, but I'm talking about NRA money.
RUBIO: No, no. Because I -- matter of fact, I bet we can get people in here to give you exactly as much money as the NRA would have...
RUBIO: But it's not -- I understand. And you're right.
KASKY: Can you stand up and put your name to that real quick? OK. Not a lot. But we'll get it.
KASKY: I'll do it...
RUBIO: You're -- you're right about that.
KASKY: ... you know, we've raised quite a bit of money so far.
RUBIO: Well, you're right about that. There is money on both sides of every issue in America. And where that leaves us in policymaking, is to look at the issues and make a decision based on what we think is right.
But ultimately, look. The First Amendment is as -- is as important as the Second. And therefore, you have every right to ask that question of me, and I...
KASKY: Are you gonna be accepting money from the NRA in the future?
RUBIO: I -- I've always supported...
RUBIO: -- I will always accept the help of anyone who agrees with my agenda. But my agenda is -- I'll give you a perfect example...
KASKY: Your agenda is protecting us, right?
RUBIO: Well, I'll give you an example, this very evening. I have told you that I support lifting the age from 18 to 21 of buying a rifle. My understanding, before I walked out here, is that that organization is not in favor of that. But I think that's the right thing to do.
I don't know what their position is, on teachers being armed. But I don't think they should be. Because that's what I think the right thing to do is.
When I offered my bill to restrict people on the terrorist watch list, or that have been on the list for the last 10 years from purchasing a weapon, they didn't take a stand. I don't think they -- they certainly didn't support my -- but I offered it.
I will do what I think is right. And if people want to support my agenda, they're welcome to do so. But they buy into my ideas. I don't buy into theirs.
KASKY: OK. So I knew that was gonna happen. NRA, please just keep the money out of Rubio, OK? If he wants to run again, you guys can...
TAPPER: Thank you, Cameron. Appreciate it.