Jarring photos shared online showed a supporter of Senator Marco Rubio with extensive injuries after an alleged politically-motivated attack on Sunday night.
Rubio, a Florida Republican, tweeted the photos along with a caption on Monday morning. The attack allegedly occurred just four days after Rubio and his opponent Democrat Val Demings participated in their first and only debate for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat just weeks before the midterm elections. A recent poll from Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy shows Rubio leading his Democratic opponent by several percentage points, but other polls show the candidates are neck-and-neck. Meanwhile, Rubio’s campaign continues to canvass in the weeks leading up to the election, which turned violent for one canvasser.
“Last night one of our canvassers wearing my T-shirt and a Desantis [sic] hat was brutally attacked by 4 animals who told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood in #Hialeah #Florida,” the senator tweeted. “He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery.”
Rubio shared photos of the unconscious victim on a stretcher wearing a blood-spattered white “Marco Rubio” shirt. One photo showed the victim loaded into the back of an ambulance and another with the victim on oxygen in a hospital bed.
He suffered internal bleeding, a broken jaw & will need facial reconstructive surgery pic.twitter.com/36QpbySg58
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) October 24, 2022
According to Ballotpedia, more than 230,000 people live in Hialeah, the city where the victim was allegedly attacked. It is less than 8 miles northwest of Miami.
The Hialeah Police Department did not immediately confirm the attack, and Newsweek requested the police report.
After tweeting the photos shortly after 11 a.m. EST on Monday, Rubio pinned the tweet to the top of his profile where it received thousands of interactions in less than an hour. The Republican senator also shared the photos on Instagram and received nearly 5,000 likes in less than an hour.
The tweet received a slew of responses supporting Rubio as well as criticizing him. Some even accused the senator of lying about the incident.
“Not be surprised if this didn’t happen as you said it did,” one Twitter user responded. “It was last night & you waited till this morning to post. I bet we find out he tripped on a curb or stairs 20 minutes after someone told him to leave their property. Also what timing after your terrible debate performance.”
Tweets of support were bipartisan, with one Democrat tweeting: “I am so sorry this happened! I’m a Democrat, but we should never voice our opposition with violence.”
Some expressed disbelief about the allegations.
“This is soooo unlikely to be true. Hialeah is a GOP stronghold,” one user tweeted. “Will wait for the whole story to come out. Someone is lying.”
Meanwhile, others defended Democrats, saying they were “not the party of violence.”
“Prove that actually happened,” one user tweeted. “These pics could be from something else. You’re such a liar.”
Newsweek has reached out to Rubio’s campaign for comment.
The post Marco Rubio Claims Supporter ‘Brutally’ Attacked While Canvassing for Him appeared first on Newsweek.