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Marco Rubio might not be doing the best job responding to criticism that he’s always remiss in his duties in the Senate. In the past, he’s explained his frequent absences away by saying his presidential campaign is more important, and his latest excuse: Rubio explains that people in the Senate — like himself — won’t help America.

“I have missed votes this year,” Rubio acknowledged Tuesday morning, at a town hall event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “You know why? Because while as a senator I can help shape the agenda, only a president can set the agenda. We’re not gonna fix America with senators and congressmen.”

Video has been posted to YouTube by the Democratic-aligned campaign tracking group, American Bridge.

By saying this, Rubio has managed to combine two different attacks against him by his GOP rivals, into a self-inflicted one-two punch. The first, of course, is Jeb Bush’s attempts to hammer his former protégé for giving up on the Senate, and even having called for him to resign from that lofty office. The second would be Chris Christie, who has said senators don’t know how to make consequential decisions, and people should vote for a strong executive like himself.

But it’s a real trick to combine these attacks into the space of a single breath — and to do it against yourself.

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) arrives at the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) Presidential Candidates Forum in Washington, December 3, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

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