2016 Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator from Florida Marco Rubio took a states’ rights position on prostitution while campaigning on Monday in Nevada, where the world’s oldest profession is legal under state law.
“I’m anti-prostitution,” Rubio told reporters according to The Wall Street Journal. However, he also clarified that he is against criminalizing prostitution at the federal level, “I’m not talking about federalizing that issue. I want to shrink the government, not grow it.”
“Suffice it to say, I wish Nevada would make it illegal, but that’s their decision to make. I don’t agree with it,” said Rubio.
He added, “I think you can be against something and still say, ‘I don’t want the federal government involved in federalizing something.’”
According to The Associated Press, Rubio said that he believes that the sex work industry “victimizes the people who are participating in it.”
CNN noted that when asked about the legal brothels in the state, Rubio replied, “We won’t be visiting them.”
Rubio said that having spent a portion of his childhood in Las Vegas, he was prepared for issue questions on prostitution. “I’ve thought about it at least once before,” he said. “The issue!” he clarified jokingly.
According to The Associated Press, Rubio took second place behind winner Donald Trump in the Nevada GOP caucus with 23.85 percent, sending 7 Rubio delegates to the Republican National Convention.
RealClearPolitics is reporting that Rubio is currently tied with Sen. Ted Cruz for second place in the delegate race for the GOP nomination with 17 delegates each. Billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump currently stands in first place with 81 delegates. 2,742 delegates are up for grabs, and a candidate must obtain the support of 1,237 in order to clinch the nomination.
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