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Rubio’s biggest problem in 2016

Rubio’s biggest problem in 2016

Sure, I disagree with Marco Rubio on the Gang of 8 immigration bill, particularly the amnesty part.

But what’s most galling is that Rubio appears to have been played by Chuck Schumer on the Democratic side, and McCain/Graham on the Republican side, suckered into being the point man drawing fire on a plan which never will be law in the form passed by the Senate.

Substantively, Rubio was pushed into a plan he can’t defend.

Does Rubio even support the Gang of 8 bill anymore? If so, he’s been pretty quiet about it lately.

I don’t mind a politician I disagree with on an issue half as much as I mind a politician I normally agree with getting played.

This tweet by Conn Carroll is spot on:


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


It seems to me that Rubio thought he was climbing a mountain and it ends up he was digging a hole.

I think it speaks to the depth of Rubio’s character … or lack of same. No doubt he has lots of charisma, and his is a good story.

But what does he truly believe? And how hard will he fight for those beliefs, regardless of the cost?

The jury is still way out on this one. Frankly, the more I see of him, the more disillusioned I become.

Like my politician uncle told me many years ago:

1. A politician’s number one job is to at least get re-elected to your present position

2. The only possibly honest politician is a retiring politician

3. Politicians should always remember to stay out of jail

moonstone716 | July 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

I think it just shows he is a little too naive and trusting. Maybe a good man, but that’s definitely not what we need in the Senate.

Hopefully he has learned a hard lesson from this. And if it turns out that he, like Obama, can’t get past his “tribe” then it’s good to find that out now.

    Juba Doobai! in reply to moonstone716. | July 18, 2013 at 11:05 am

    Naive? Too trusting? ROFLMAO! Rubio played Conservatives when he was not one of us. He was always Jeb’s boy and pro illegal immigration amnesty. He told folks a good story.

    Well, the playa got played. He thought we were the naive and the trusting. Now we know he’s the sucker.

    Of all people, Schumer and McCain. Rubio’s not only a playa. He’s a moron!

    Juba Doobai! in reply to moonstone716. | July 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

    And they call Sarah Palin stupid!

Rubio and Ryan are new additions to the list of politicians who will never get another contribution or vote from me.

Rubio’s biggest problem in 2016 will be Rubio in 2013.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | July 18, 2013 at 10:37 am

It’s interesting to see people say Rubio’s presidential aspirations are doomed.

I remember the 2006-07 amnesty debate. It was vicious – far more vicious than this one. And who led the amnesty charge? McRINO. Guess who we nominated to be our candidate in 2008.

Then grass roots conservatives went on a two year hissy fit to stop Obamacare. Who did we nominate to be the nominee in 2012? The guy who signed Romneycare into law.

If the establishment wants Rubio to be the nominee, he will have a big edge on everybody else. The problem for conservatives is that the establishment backs one candidate. Grass roots conservatives, however, divide our loyalties among several candidates who run to the right of the establishment candidate.

I think the only way to break the establishment lock on the nominee is for conservatives to coalesce around one candidate before primaries even begin. But we have not been able to get that done, in large part because the conservative base is so diverse. Social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, center-right libertarians and one issue voters (abortion, for example) don’t always have a lot in common.

    thorleywinston in reply to MaggotAtBroadAndWall. | July 18, 2013 at 10:56 am

    You’re forgetting at least a couple of extenuating factors:

    1) McCain and Romney were both the runners up in a previous presidential primary and bought themselves a lot of goodwill in their support of the eventual nominee. Rubio would be a first timer and has earned no such goodwill.

    2) Both were seen as better matches for what was arguably one of the most pressing issues at the time of the campaign. McCain had spent the bulk of his Senate career crusading against corruption which is what ultimately cost Republicans control of Congress in 2006. Add to that the weariness from the War and the bad economy and it makes sense that Republicans may have thought that their best candidate in 2008 would be someone seen as generally honest and who wasn’t seen as tied to either the corrupt leadership in Congress or as being too close to the Bush administration. In 2012, where the economy was the key issue, Romney had a private sector career as someone who takes dysfunctional organizations and turns them around. I doubt that Rubio has any qualifications that make him ideally suited for the issues of 2016 because frankly there is nothing unique about him either than being Hispanic

    As far as the “establishment” versus the “conservative” dichotomy, I don’t buy it. As far as I’m concerned there are only two kinds of people in this world: serious people and silly people. The silly people weren’t just those who voted for Obama in the general election but they include anyone who thought that it was “fun” to drag out the 2012 Republican primary by supporting candidates with zero executive experience as contenders for the top executive job in the world.

    Who’s this “we”? Mouse in the pocket again?

    I didn’t vote for either one in the primaries.

thorleywinston | July 18, 2013 at 10:41 am

Conn Carroll nails it. I’m not going to prognosticate about what’s in Marco Rubio’s heart or what his core convictions are or aren’t. As far as I’m concerned, If Marco Rubio went along with the Gang of Ain’t, then he’s as inept on immigration as John Boehner is on the debt ceiling.

Cowboy Curtis | July 18, 2013 at 10:46 am

The possibilities of what really went on are really pretty limited. So far as I can tell, Rubio was either outsmarted and duped by Schumer and Graham, or he was lying through his teeth when he ran in 2010.

So he’s either a fool or an opportunistic liar. I was a big fan of the guy, but I won’t vote for him in a presidential primary, and simply won’t vote for him at all in the Senate. This is a man who easily could be in the White House one day, and after all this, it scares the hell out of me. If he was so totally fooled on this matter, then heaven protect us from what he’ll get fooled on, and by whom, in the future. If he was lying about something of this magnitude, can any campaign promise he ever makes be trusted?

I think conservatives need to cut him loose, if only to teach a lesson to the others. He either can’t be trusted to exercise good judgment, or he just simply cannot be trusted at all. If it costs us a senate seat, well, so be it.

    janitor in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | July 18, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Rubio isn’t a fool per se, but he also isn’t particularly bright, and is not “presidential material”. His work experience is close to nil, except for politicking in circles protected by the Jeb Bush Republican forces in Florida. My impression of him for a long time now has been that he’s ambitious, opportunistic, and out for himself, almost exclusively.

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to janitor. | July 18, 2013 at 7:42 pm

      I don’t think he’s a fool, period. That’s just the kindest interpretation of his actions. I figure it doesn’t hurt to include the most benefit-y of the doubt conclusion in with the rest, no matter how BS it is, when even in the most friendly of light it’s only 1.5% less damning than the most critical one.

I’m not the least bit surprised by Rubio. He’s Establishment through and through. The one thing that anyone on our side should never do – or even those who pretend to be on our side – is to be involved in anything with Schumer. McCain and Graham should be on that list too.

Rubio burn the candle from both ends and got burned. It was all self-inflicted. I watched him use the Tea Party to his advantage and then felt he owed those supporters nothing. He made his bed, he ran with the big guys and now has shown that he has no values. One and done!

Whatever else you can say about it, it certainly reveals that Rubio is not a leader.

I think Rubio got played by the Jeb Bush. His popularity was rising to the level of GOP nomination for 2016 – he had to go.

No matter what Jeb says, he thinks that GOP nomination is his.

As I see it, this issue represents a perfect model of how shallow and self-serving political calculation works within the RINO paradigm. Rubio was both manipulator and tool, player and played — and he has miscalculated himself into a terrible corner.

He needed an “issue” to brand him as a leader distinct from the other possible GOP candidates in 2016. Of course, he couldn’t choose a clear conservative issue, one that would have inspired the grassroots, as the mere notion of this would be anathema to the GOP elite, to which Rubio was pledged. “Immigration Reform” was perfect. As an issue, it was just the right balance of complex and visceral, enough to stir people’s emotions but complicated enough in the final legislation to blur edges and conceal screw-ups and compromises. Or so he thought. And he was swept up in the same ancient RINO myth that he needed to appeal above all to those outside his base (the counter-intuitive durability of this myth can best be explained in emotional terms: that is, the seething contempt the GOP elite holds for its grassroots. The democrats on the other hand play the game in opposite emotional terms, by running TOWARD not away from their core Leftist base. Figure that one out).

His assumption all along was that whatever anxiety or disaffection his alliances with the democrats would raise among his base would be short term and could be washed away with good BS rhetoric, subsequent pandering, and simple time. In the end, he’d look like a leader for uniting divided political factions, and helping to “solve” a long-term problem. Above all, he was counting on another ancient RINO article of faith — that his appeal would be so broadened by now that the base would ultimately have NO WHERE ELSE TO TURN. The Romney model on steroids. The beltway GOP would embrace him as the candidate who’d been able to snooker the Tea Party crowd, and the big party money and muscle in the primaries would follow.

But Rubio failed to account for the growing consciousness and sophistication among the base. He demonstrated an incredibly callow trust for the worst characters in the democrat party about whom his base was already painfully aware. The mere “optics” of him laughing it up with Chuck Schumer (and the truth behind it written into the legislation) was devastating.

And now, having spun and double-talked his way through the drafting of the bill, and watching it blow up in his face, he’s attempting to distance himself from it — a further problem, further revealing a lack of political character.

And this is the larger failing, catastrophic for Rubio: he looks like he acted on calculation not principle. He chose an issue mainly out of calculation, pushed it out of calculation, and is now walking away from it out of calculation. Reagan always acted on what he believed, and calculated only on the small points of achieving it. But that’s who he was. It’s clear now that is not who Rubio is.

My enduring image of Rubio is actually not related to this bill. It is of him rushing in late to Rand Paul’s filibuster, after he realized how much of a sensation it was causing, and trying to worm his way into the cameras. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and a few others were with Paul from the beginning. They understood the importance of what he was doing. But Rubio waited to see how it would play. THAT’s what has grown sickening to the base.

Dear Prof. and LI colleagues,
Marco Rubio did NOT get “played”. He is and has always been a major “player” in the amnesty/ open borders debate. His record as Speaker in the FL House validates this fact. It gave many of us in SoFla serious concern during his run for senate but I, like so many, saw the alternatives (Charlie Crist)as completely unacceptable choices. We voted for Marco and hoped for the best. Clearly, his loyalty to the huge money vote harvesters and his personal political ambition still trumps any sense of loyalty to this country and the people who received his parents, wrapped them in our flag and in our hearts and gave him so many advantages.

Marco Rubio’s strategic positioning in the US Senate was the proverbial Trojan Horse in the current contrived urgency of the immigration issue. You must understand, Marco was not pushed into anything. He leaped with both feet into this cow-paddy.

Articulate and charming, to be sure and with such an appealing backstory, Marco beguiled so many conservatives in much the same way as Obama appeals to his ideological base. As one who has resided in SoFla for over 50 years, I can attest to the fact that Marco is not unique in this regard. Charm, elloquence and impassioned speaches flow readily from the mouths of thousands of his ilk down here and some of the same charmers will quietly arrange to have a pipe bomb placed in the car or sabotage the building or business projects of their detractors. NOTE: I am not suggesting Rubio’s group has engaged in these heineous acts but such have occurred Miami throughout the past several decades. This is the reality of Miami-Dade county business, finance, academia and politics.

Finally, you’ve heard of the Gang of 8. You should also be aware and perhaps more concerned about the influence of “The Three Amigos” who occupy seats in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. One of them is certain to participate in any Committee formed in the US House to concock an amnesty plan.

    RickCaird in reply to DuraMater. | July 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    The counter argument is Rubio specifically said during the primary campaign he would not support amnesty. He said that to differentiate himslef from Charlie Crist. But with this bill, it turns out he lied. I do not ever vote again for a caadidate that lied to me.

Henry Hawkins | July 18, 2013 at 12:08 pm

Fifth most galling to me is that a young man once hailed as a ‘conservative rock star’ so quickly was exposed as just another poll-chasing finger-to-the-wind opportunist in Washington DC. Rubio is a political chameleon.

Fourth most galling to me is that when the immigration position he lied about remained politically viable for him personally, Rubio stuck by it, only to abandon it once it turned ugly for him personally. Politically savvy Hispanics will note that Rubio’s commitment to Comprehensive Immigration Reform was a bald-faced attempt at pandering for votes, that he cared little for the actual policy, and these politically savvy Hispanics will advise their people accordingly. Thusly has Rubio hurt the GOP among Hispanics. Rubio proceeds only on personally beneficent politics, and abandons principles as required.

Third most galling to me is that he either got played by Schumer or simply agrees with Schumer on immigration. One is as bad as the other in my book, so it hardly matters which. Rubio is closer to being a pawn than a rook and is not ready for prime time politics.

Second most galling to me is that Rubio lied about his true position on an extremely important issue in order to get elected to the US Senate. Every conservative voter is justified in doubting any position he vocalizes in the future. Rubio has problems of character and should be measured by what he does, never by what he says.

MOST galling to me is that I have once again lowered my x-ray skeptical eye long enough to be thoroughy fooled by a politician.

Subotai Bahadur | July 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I note something with both interest and relish. Granting everything said about the “either evil or stupid” issue. It comes down either way to him trusting his Leftist friends not to attack him after he joined them.

POLITICO is a charter member of both the original Journo-List and the revived Journo-List 2.0 that takes all their talking points from the White House. Today, POLITICO published a piece about how Rubio is politically weak and shaky from the unexpectedly strong hostile reactions from the Republican base. The Democrats have used him, and now they are discarding him. His only friends left are Jeb Bush and the Institutional Republicans. Nobody loves a Judas, except perhaps other Judas’. But even they can’t trust him.

There is a movement in Florida to recall him. It has too many barriers, including changing Florida state law, to have any hope of succeeding. But I really would like to see a successful petition drive, just as a public indication that his political career in Florida is over; and the same can happen to any other Judas.

Subotai Bahadur

    DuraMater in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | July 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    “…I really would like to see a successful petition drive, just as a public indication that his political career in Florida is over; ”

    Count me IN!!!

    Radegunda in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | July 18, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Got a call yesterday from a lady representing Rubio, but I said “no thanks” and hung up before she could start begging for money. To say I don’t live in Florida would be an understatement, and I don’t often get calls begging me to support legislators from other states.

    Looks like he might be in real trouble on his home turf. Which is a good thing.

      DuraMater in reply to Radegunda. | July 18, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      I, too, have received a couple of those calls this year. One was from a nice sounding young man in Minnesota calling from the “Marco Rubio Victory Fund”. I listened to his scripted spiel and then let him have it with both barrels.

      Poor dear, he didn’t even know what an H1B visa is, much less that the beneficiaries of this expanded program would be taking jobs and opportunities away from him and other Americans.

Usually the politician who is the brightest shooting star has the shortest shelf life and not much substance to go with the dazzle.

We need to see a resume before hiring these people, and at least call a few references.

George P. Bush moved to Texas a short time ago and now has a war chest to support his run for a statewide office. What are his qualifications? None that I can tell, but the odds are he will be elected. Oh, and he passes himself off as a conservative. How do we know? Just ask him.

Rubio could potentially use the Zimmerman case to drive a big wedge between Hispanics and the Democrats. Considering that Hispanics are Catholics and immigrants usually come seeking upward mobility (neither of which the Democrats care about), painting the Dems as favoring blacks over Hispanics might turn the tables on this thing rather nicely.

    claymore in reply to caseym54. | July 18, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    I’d be happy to see him do that, but he’s too much a “company man.” They’re all one big happy family in DC. IF he did it, then he could just make us all happy by going away. Far, far away.

Condensing and simplifying what as already been said, in particular Henry Hawkins’ “..political chameleon..” comment:

Marco Rubio’s biggest problem is that he is a Florida Republican just like Governor Scott, Attorney General Bondi, and District Attorney Corey…among others past and preent. It is a closely related sub-species to the historic Michigan Republicans of the William Milliken pedigree:

Family: Politician
Subfamily: Republican
Tribe: RINO
Genus: Chameleonosoris dorsumwhacker

Carol Herman | July 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Don’t resuscitate Rubio!

Concentrate on this: The democrats will crown Hillary. Don’t let hilarity ensue.

Kick away the bible thumpers. This is not the round where the stupid party comes out favoring the “lost cause.”

Pick someone dynamic. Did you know Rick Scott almost fit that bill? Now, the public is in no mood to trust a governor. (Even if he’s the governor from Wisconsin.)

Try to brush up on Daniels, for Indiana. Fiscally responsible. Able to turn a state around, and making it a viable contendah for bringing in jobs.

The stupid party continues to lose! Jebbie? If you pick him that the “country club” is chuck full of morons.

Do you know back in 1992 what brought Ross Perot to the ticket? One appearance on Larry King Live. And, then people in 50 States collecting the necessary signatures to put his name on the ballot.

Yeah, I like Maury (sp?) from Titan Tires.

I really don’t want to see the stupid arguments, where the democraps beat the stupid party silly.

    Aridog in reply to Carol Herman. | July 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Pick someone dynamic. Did you know Rick Scott almost fit that bill?

    Whoa! Was that before or after he caved in to the Al Sharpton and NBPP race hustle, by ignoring his own State’s attorney’s decision in Sanford, and appointed Jacksonville’s Jabba the Hut ….or was it after all that?

While I vehemently disagree with the Gang o’ 8 bill, I could forgive a policy disagreement, if that is all it was. Unlike some of my conservative friends, I recognize that you don’t have to subscribe to my views 100% of the time to be a conservative, and that honest people can have honest disagreements on policy.

But even if Rubio was “rolled” by Schumer & Company at first, he could have read the bill and stepped back from it. Instead, he doubled down on his support and LIED about what was in it and the potential effects. He was also deceptive about the “instant amnesty” aspect of it, always attempting to divert the argument into “paths to citizenship” or the non sequitur about “we have de facto amnesty now.”

Mistakes and disagreements are human and acceptable and fixable. Lying to my face is not acceptable and trust, once lost, cannot be regained so easily.

Rubio has a long way to go to earn forgiveness, since the first step is admitting error without trying to excuse it. He hasn’t done that, so perhaps it is premature to point out that forgiveness doesn’t mean things are as they were.

I can forgive my neighbor for stealing my cash from the cupholder. This doesn’t mean I will soon leave him unattended near anything of value again. The process of rebuilding trust is long and arduous. It only begins with forgiveness, which can only follow sincere apology.

It doesn’t matter if Rubio serves this term admirably and returns to Florida, becomes Governor, and does that job well, too. Until he acknowledges he lied with a straight face, he will not have begun to rebuild fences with me.

    Aridog in reply to Estragon. | July 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with your first paragraph, in particular. Beyond that I stand by my estimation at 1:45 PM today. Trust is something I’d be very hard pressed to extend to any Florida Republican … or Democrat for that matter, given the likes of Alan Grayson. They elect guys like Grayson and defeat guys like Allen West….guess West wasn’t as “Florida Republican” enough…e.g., similar enough to Grayson.

    I admit I am a cynical old coot with a bad attitude.

    thorleywinston in reply to Estragon. | July 18, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Agreed, I’ve supported Republicans in the past who I’ve differed with on a few policy areas (including McCain) and I don’t think that policy differences make them “Rinos” per se. I can respect someone that says “I changed my mind about this policy area and this why I think we should do this thing instead” but not someone who insists that if I don’t agree that up is now down that the fault must somehow rest with me.

    Also, while I get that you have to reach across the aisle, it is the height of stupidity to sign onto a product that hasn’t been finalized. If Rubio doesn’t understand that, then he lacks the judgment to be an effective leader IMO. At least he kind of leader that I’d want to support.

      DuraMater in reply to thorleywinston. | July 18, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      The only time a conservative would receive my approval for a “reach across the isle” maneuver would be if he/ she did so to deliver a stiff Right hook into the kissers of some of the smug and impudent Lefty legislators(figuratively speaking, of course) who are pushing this country into the abyss.

Loser and turncoat.

Rubio’s biggest problem is …… Rubio.

Rubio. All hat, no cattle.

If someone has figured out a way that Rubio is constitutionally eligible, would you please tell me about your logic process?

    Skookum in reply to 1andyman. | July 24, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Yes, who waved a magic wand and made Rubio a natural-born citizen, or deleted that requirement from the Constitution? Has not Obama’s misbehavior demonstrated why the Founders prohibited the presidency to those who are not natural-born citizens?

BannedbytheGuardian | July 18, 2013 at 10:59 pm

Well Florida ain’t the flavour of the month . Hopefully it takes out John E Bush too.