While State Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, plans to host U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, at an Oct. 25 fundraising luncheon for his campaign to for the 14th Congressional District, protesters plan to be outside the restaurant for the entire 90 minutes of the event.
Representatives of the Coalition for a Better IL6th and local Indivisible groups will be outside Maggiano’s, 240 Oakbrook Center, Oakbrook, protesting Rubio for not acknowledging President Trump’s abuse of power, said coalition leader Reid McCollum of Hinsdale.
They will be calling on Rubio to "demand impeachment and defend democracy," McCollum said.
“Senate Republicans seem to be going out of their way overall to avoid talking about this situation,” McCollum said. “While it is clear to all of us, Republican Congress members are lining up in lockstep behind Trump.”
McCollum said President Trump has exhibited gross abuses of power, including holding up hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigating his political rival, Joe Biden.
“Republican senators are trying to avoid it entirely and avoid the press,” McCollum said. “Some of them are more shaken by revelations and, I’m sure, at the end of day, might want to stand up and defend the Constitution and hold accountable a president who has used his power for his personal political gain and violated the law.”
Asked why Rubio is being targeted here, McCollum cited a Rubio Tweet from today in response to the issue: “What they want is a Republican who will douse themselves in kerosene & light a match.”
“Rather, protesters will ask Rubio to defend the U.S. Constitution,” McCollum said.
Rubio responded in an email with comments he made in a Fox News interview, stating "impeachment and removal of a president is one of the most extraordinary things anybody could ever do.”
“If it reaches a trial in the Senate, it’ll be the most important vote any of us will ever take because you are literally saying ‘we’re going to cancel the results of a valid democratic election.’ ... And I am still shocked at how people take that lightly and just throw it around," Rubio stated. "Something like that needs to be used very sparingly; its damaging, its traumatic for the country. … It's an extraordinary measure that hurts the country no matter what the outcome of it is; and ultimately it should be based on two things: the facts – all of the facts –- and what is in the best interest of our country, given that moment in time.”
Oberweis campaign spokesman Travis Akin said there would be no comment about the protest.
McCollum said four days short of a year ago, the same groups protested Rubio, also in Oak Brook, when he came to speak at a fundraiser for former U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam – who lost to Sean Casten in 2018.
Oberweis is hoping to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, who unseated Republican Randy Hultgren in 2018.