A canvasser for Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., suffered injuries from an attack Sunday night, but despite how the senator described the incident, the suspect’s mother insists it was not politically motivated.
Diana Rosa Lopez, the mother of suspect Javier Lopez, told the Miami Herald that her son “deserves” whatever consequences he faces but claimed that there is nothing political about him.
“My son doesn’t know anything about politics. He likes fishing,” she told the Herald on Tuesday. “My son never voted.”
Rubio tweeted on Sunday that the canvasser was wearing a T-shirt supporting him and a Ron DeSantis hat when four people attacked him. The Florida senator claimed that the alleged assailants “told him Republicans weren’t allowed in their neighborhood” in Hialeah, Florida.
A police report only mentioned one attacker, identified as Javier Lopez, and said that Lopez told the canvasser, “You can’t pass by here, this is my neighborhood.”
Diana Lopez told the Herald that she wants her son to be accountable for his actions and that she will not bail him out of jail.
“He deserves whatever he deserves for getting in a fight,” she said.
She said she was not sure what led to the fight, but she maintained that it “has nothing to do with politics.” She said she only votes in presidential elections did not care much about Rubio’s reelection effort until he tweeted about her son.
Lopez said she and her husband broke up the fight after they heard noise outside their home. She told the Herald that she heard her son say, “I don’t know you” during the fight.
Hialeah Police Sgt. Jose Torres told the Herald that so far, they “haven’t been able to determine” if the incident was politically motivated but said they would speak to Monzon again.
The canvasser has since been identified by WSVN and other local media as Christopher Monzon. He is a former city council candidate who acknowledged in a 2021 interview that he was once part of the self-described “Southern nationalist” group League of the South. He admitted to the previous use of racial slurs but tried to distance himself, saying, “I do not condone the usage of such language. While I might have used the language in the past, I no longer believe that using those slurs is acceptable.”
Following the Herald’s interview with Diana Lopez, Rubio took issue with reporting that included Monzon’s political background while supposedly brushing aside the seriousness of his attack, which police said left him with “severe swelling” on his face, his right eye swollen shut, and “severe swelling and bleeding” from being hit in the mouth.
“When a republican volunteer is savagely beaten the traditional media treats the victim as the criminal and the criminal as a nice young man who likes fishing & just made a mistake,” Rubio tweeted.
Rubio is facing off against Democrat Rep. Val Demings in November’s election, in a hotly contested race that could determine which party controls the Senate in 2023.