Paul singles out Rubio for backing off PIPA

Marco Rubio

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Rep. Ron Paul, in an unusual move, singled out Sen. Marco Rubio on Thursday for dropping his support for a controversial online piracy bill.

Paul referred to the Florida senator's decision to end his co-sponsorship of the Protect Intellectual Property Act, which has been losing support in Congress since Wikipedia and other online giants staged a one-day blackout in protest of the measure on Wednesday.

Paul, R-Tex., also opposes the bill. Many observers consider Rubio the front-runner for the GOP vice presidential nomination.

"Rubio switched his vote -- he took his name off because he heard from his people," Paul said at a College of Charleston rally. "A lot of people in Washington aren't philosophically interested, they're interested in re-election, that's what motivates most of them is reelection and power. But no, if there are enough people that send that message, they should change their minds. That's what the system is all about."

Paul also praised the grassroots effort that has led many lawmakers to change their minds about the legislation. "Sometimes you need a two-by-four to get them to listen," he said to laughter, "but evidently numbers play. And so I think this is very important."

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    Rodney Hawkins covers the 2012 presidential campaign for CBS News and National Journal.