Marco Rubio appeared on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart on Tuesday night. The senator was there to hock his new book, American Dreams: Restoring Economic Opportunity for Everyone, and talk up some of the policies he writes about. But before that, in the show's intro segment, Stewart took on the low-hanging fruit that is our fair state of Florida.
Using the lifting of the same-sex marriage ban as a starting point, Stewart took a flame thrower to northern counties in the state that are choosing not to issue marriage licenses, which led him to talk up the ridiculousness that often pervades Florida.
In response to the recent ruling, Duval, Baker, and Clay counties have chosen not to issue marriage licenses to either gay or straight couples. The reason given is that some clerks would feel uncomfortable marrying same-sex couples. So, as a solution, these counties decided to eliminate issuing of all marriage licenses, to avoid discrimination.
Stewart responds by saying, "Let's talk about the fine citizens you're trying to protect from the blight of same-sex marriage." And then proceeds to show example after example of varying Florida Man-type stories.
He then says they've found the Florida Man story of the year by talking about Benjamin Siegel, owner of Delray Beach's Ben Siegel Reptiles Inc., who was arrested for beating his employees with a lizard.
Stewart then brought on Rubio, who began his interview by telling Stewart, "You're a candidate for a lizard-beating."
The interview was not as confrontational as one would expect, given Rubio's conservatism and Stewart's penchant for challenging conservative politicians who show up on The Daily Show.
Rubio talked up his usual stance on how government should play only a limited role in people's lives. Stewart pointed out how many of the policies written in Rubio's book would likely not sit well with the Tea Party or other far-right members of the GOP.
If Rubio wants to be president, Stewart suggested, he would have to move further to the right on some of the stances he's taken to win favor with his constituents.
"You're a secret Democrat," Stewart said to Rubio toward the end of the interview.
"How's that?" Rubio asked.
"You care about the things that happened to you," Stewart said. "You have empathy."
"You misunderstand conservatism," a smiling Rubio quipped.
"You're probably right. Because I listen to them," Stewart said, taking a shot at the sometimes confusing things members of Rubio's party say.
The interview was broken into three parts, which you can watch here.