After getting savagely owned by Parkland students at the CNN town hall, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is apparently trying to rebuild his image with the teens by agreeing to an incredibly awkward interview with former Disney star turned YouTuber Jake Paul.
The 22-minute video, titled "It's time to end school shootings," is a clumsy cringe-fest of Paul, who is the younger brother of Logan Paul (the guy who filmed a dead body), staring at his laptop with a concerned look on his face, while he rolls out milquetoast ideas like students carrying bulletproof glass in their backpacks and having to walk through "check-in points" before entering school.
Since the video mentions practically everything but stricter gun laws, bringing on Rubio as a guest to knock out a few snowballs about legislation seems like a very appropriate fit. At the 6:30 mark, Rubio's shellacking at the CNN town hall is shown before he appears in a Skype interview with Paul.
"Hey, what's up man," says Paul when Rubio pops on screen. "I think a lot of people think passing laws is supereasy. Can you explain some of, like, the struggles around passing laws?"
Rubio then happily explains that his job is hard and "answers" a completely different question. "What are the things we agree on? Let’s do those things first," says Rubio. "We agree on these eight things; let’s do these eight things. And then there’s some things we may not agree on; phase two will be to go work on some of those things. But let’s get the things we agree on out of the way."
Paul then asks Rubio what laws he's been working on since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. "The best thing to do here is to stop someone before they even show up at the school and shoot it up," says Rubio. It's unclear exactly what Rubio means by this, especially since a student did warn authorities about the shooter before the attack, but Paul does his best to squint at the computer like he's listening extra hard.
The video then cuts back to Rubio's CNN town hall, where Cameron Kasky asks Rubio if he will continue to accept money from the NRA, while dramatic piano music plays in the background. Rubio then tells Paul that our country has a long history of disagreements about gun laws, and we always will.
To end the interview Paul turns to the camera and recaps what he’s learned from his chat with the senator, which is basically our country's school shootings can't be solved by things like laws, but rather by "activating parents and kids" because "we don't want to wait for hundreds of people in D.C. to pass some laws."
Paul, who has an assault rifle tattoo on his thigh and has featured guns in his videos, also called out large social media companies for allowing guns to appear on their feeds, but not a boob. "I know on Instagram, if a girl posts a picture with her nipples out, it automatically gets flagged and removed from Instagram and reported under a system. So why can’t we have that same technology with a kid taking a selfie with a handgun or a kid in a video killing animals?" asks Paul.
As tone-deaf and half-baked as it comes across, it's admittedly admirable that Paul is at least attempting to be forthright. He did spend a whole week in Florida trying his best to solve school shootings and he did promise $25,000 to help transport student to the March for Our Lives rally next week. As Paul says in the video while driving down to Parkland, he just wants to "become homies with them and just be there for them."
However, why Marco Rubio agreed to be in a video where a YouTube star basically says his job is pointless is behind comprehension. But then again, getting roasted on big stages is what Rubio does best.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Support Local Journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.