Protesters target Rubio in Pulse neighborhood

More than two dozen protesters shouted chants against U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio as he toured businesses that were forced to close for several days because of an investigation into the shooting deaths of 49 people at a nearby gay nightclub.

The protesters on Tuesday criticized Rubio's past stances against gun control and gay rights as he met with business owners about small-business loans that may be available to them because of lost revenue.

Rubio told reporters that he understood why the protesters were there. The Florida Republican made an unsuccessful bid earlier this year for the GOP presidential nomination.

Advocates of gun control measures and gay rights have targeted Rubio in the month since Omar Mateen opened fire at the Pulse nightclub, leaving 49 patrons dead and 53 people wounded.

Protesters held a sit-in last week in the lobby of the Orlando building where he has an office.