Florida Senator Marco Rubio held a townhall event in South Carolina earlier this week, but what the Senator did before that meeting has been largely under wraps. Rubio, without bringing any media or taking any “selfies” for his social media accounts, visited Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church to meet with the congregation and the friends and family members of victims.
Rubio didn’t talk much about his private trip, but was struck by church members capacity to forgive alleged killer Dylan Roof. According to the Associated Press:
Before attending a town hall meeting Monday night in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio — without television cameras or any other media in tow — visited the Charleston church where nine African-American worshippers were shot to death earlier this year.
Republican Sen. Tim Scott disclosed the Florida senator’s trip before an audience of about 1,000 people attending the town hall meeting he hosted at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center. Scott has invited all 17 GOP candidates to South Carolina for town hall sessions.
Rubio praised the “extraordinary forgiveness” shown by some relatives of the slain at the first court appearance of Dylann Roof, who is accused in the shootings at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Rubio did not talk in detail about his private visit to the church.
South Carolina Representatives Trey Gowdy and Mark Sanford also attended the Rubio townhall.
South Carolina’s “first in the south” primary is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2016.