President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans finally struck a deal early in the morning on New Year’s Day to avoid going over the fiscal cliff, with senators voting 89-8 in favor. But a much-talked about Florida senator with presidential aspirations voted no: Marco Rubio.
Amid home stretch negotiations, Rubio took to the online messaging service Twitter to tell people what was happening. On the afternoon of Sunday, Dec. 30, he tweeted: "Report that #GOP insisting on changes to Social Security as part of #fiscalcliff false. BTW those changes are supported by @barackobama."
The next day, liberal columnist Paul Krugman said Rubio lied about the negotiations, and that "numerous reports tell us that McConnell did in fact make precisely that demand," referring to the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.
Krugman concluded that Rubio’s words revealed that a "grand bargain" between the two parties just won’t work: "You can’t make big deals with a totally untrustworthy negotiating partner," he said.
PolitiFact decided to sort out the controversy by investigating Rubio’s claim that the GOP did not insist on changes to Social Security as part of the fiscal cliff, and whether Obama actually supported those changes.