Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio fired back at President Obama over climate change Friday after the president said the effects of climate change can be seen in Rubio's home state of Florida.
Obama said parts of South Florida are already showing evidence of climate change, pointing to flooding and "fish swimming in the street," but Rubio told the "CBS This Morning" team that flooding in the area is a result of South Florida being built on a swamp.
"We have had flooding issues on Miami Beach and one of the reasons might be because there's some rise in the sea level, but primarily it's because Miami and all South Florida is built on a swamp," said Rubio, who sits third in the Washington Examiner's latest power rankings. "Miami beach, for example, is an artificial island built because of dredging."
"Whether the climate is changing is a measurable thing, in fact, it's always been changing. The fundamental issue for a policymaker is what do we do about it," Rubio said. "And everything the president is advocating for, even the scientists admit, we don't believe it would make a dramatic impact any time in the near future on any trends in the climate. But I can tell you would have a dramatic impact on our economy."
The Florida senator said the U.S. has already reduced carbon emissions compared to other countries in the world, specifically pointing to India and China, which will account for most of the growth in carbon emissions over the next 30 years. He also said it's doubtful that China would actually go along with any sort of deal to curb emissions.
"What deal has China ever followed through on?" Rubio said to host Charlie Rose, pointing to deals on cyber warfare. "They are not going to hamstring their economy. They have millions of people to employ and feed and they're not going to cut back on that until they reach parity with us."
"I don't think they're going to arrive ... at any measures that are going to solve any problem," Rubio said about the Paris meetings on climate change. "I do think there is a potential for the United States to pursue policies that will be very harmful to our economy and basically have no impact on our environment."
Rubio's response came after Obama told CBS's Norah O'Donnell that the problem of climate change, particularly in South Florida, will only get worse over time."
"They are absolutely wrong. It's not subject to dispute," Obama said responding to recent claims from Rubio and Chris Christie on climate change. "Mr. Rubio is from Florida and you can go now to places in South Florida where when the sun is out during high tide, you've got fish swimming in the streets because the flooding is so high. The evidence is there right now that drought floods storm surges are hurting people right now, and that is only going to get worse."