Thursday's GOP debate in Detroit took place an hour away from Flint, Michigan, and yet the unfolding water crisis in that city garnered only a brief moment of attention. Marco Rubio was the only candidate to field a question on Flint, which he claims Democrats turned into a partisan issue. "All of us are outraged by what happened," the Washington Post quotes Rubio. "I don't think someone woke up one morning and said, 'Let's poison the water system.'" Rubio credited Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder for taking accountability for the crisis. Earlier Thursday, a Flint mother filed a lawsuit against a handful of government employees and corporations she believes are responsible for poisoning her four children with lead-tainted drinking water, according to Michigan Live.
Critics immediately jumped on Rubio's statements on Flint. "Rick Snyder poisoned thousands of children, and Marco Rubio's biggest concern is that people are blaming Snyder for it," a ThinkProgress editor tweeted. "I don't think the issue w/ #FlintWaterCrisis is somebody thought about poisoning kids. It's that nobody thought about how not to," added a Hillary Clinton staffer. After Rubio's answer to the Flint question, the debate moved on to discussing Detroit's failing schools. (Read more Flint, Michigan stories.)