(CNSNews.com) – GOP presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Thursday at the GOP presidential debate in Detroit, Mich., that it is “unfair” to politicize the Flint water crisis, because it’s not like someone woke up one day and thought about how to poison the water system.
“And by the way, the politicizing of it I think is unfair, because I don't think that someone woke up one morning and said, ‘Let's figure out how to poison the water system to hurt someone,’” Rubio said.
The city’s water became contaminated when its water source was switched to the Flint River to save money in 2014. The river water wasn’t properly treated, however, to keep lead from leaking into the water supply, according to the Associated Press.
The second biggest issue in Michigan is clean water, according to Facebook, Fox News’ Bret Baier said. “That, of course, is directly tied with the situation in Flint.
“Senator Rubio, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both been to Flint. They are both running ads in this state focusing on that, focusing on supporting Flint and fixing the problems, showing images of people in Flint thankful that they're there,” he said.
“Without getting into the political blame game here, where are the national Republicans' plans on infrastructure and solving problems like this? If you talk to people in this state, they are really concerned about Flint on both sides of the aisle. So why haven't GOP candidates done more or talked more about this?” Baier asked.
“Well, I know I've talked about it, and others in our campaign have talked about it, and other candidates have talked about it, as well. What happened in Flint was a terrible thing. It was systemic breakdown at every level of government, at both the federal and partially the -- both the state and partially at the federal level, as well,” said Rubio.
“And by the way, the politicizing of it I think is unfair, because I don't think that someone woke up one morning and said, ‘Let's figure out how to poison the water system to hurt someone, but accountability is important,’” he said.
“I will say, I give the governor credit. He took responsibility for what happened. And he's talked about people being held accountable and the need for change, with Governor Snyder, but here's the point. This should not be a partisan issue. The way the Democrats have tried to turn this into a partisan issue, that somehow Republicans woke up in the morning and decided, ‘Oh, it's a good idea to poison some kids with lead.’ It's absurd. It's outrageous. It isn't true,” Rubio said.
“All of us are outraged by what happened, and we should work together to solve it, and there is a proper role for the government to play at the federal level, in helping local communities to respond to a catastrophe of this kind, not just to deal with the people that have been impacted by it, but to ensure that something like this never happens again,” Rubio added.