Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday he hopes the damages caused by Hurricane Matthew in his state won't become a campaign issue, and that if either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton visits, they remain sensitive to the clean-up efforts.
"This is really about the government working for people," Rubio told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "One of the roles is to keep our people safe."
The Federal Emergency Management Agency and other government offices are already responding, said Rubio, and FEMA "does its job well," so the recovery and response to the disaster should not become a campaign issue.
Meanwhile, Rubio said he believes most people in his state heeded the warnings about Matthew's path, and for those who did not, "that's unfortunate."
"The storm could have been much worse," he said, because the storm's eye stayed to the east, sparing Florida much of the damage that could have occurred.
However, Florida still faces a storm surge danger from Daytona Beach to the Jacksonville-Georgia line, as the "water threat from flooding is worse than wind," said Rubio.
Florida's first-responders are uniquely prepared for hurricane emergencies and are the "best in the world" with such events, said Rubio, and now they are moving to effect recovery, county by county to restore services.
Meanwhile, on the political front, Rubio said he does not have advice for Trump for Sunday's debate, as he's been concentrating on his own campaign and the danger of the hurricane hitting his state. He also said he doesn't think the storm will play into the debate except for a question at the beginning.
He expects the race for his own seat to be tight, as "you don't win by 10 points" in a presidential election year. As for now, Rubio said he'll be focusing on storm recovery and bringing federal assistance to his state, and then will return to campaigning.
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