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The Conservative Case for Marco Rubio

The Conservative Case for Marco Rubio

Reviewing his solid conservative record and the two biggest criticisms

Florida Senator Marco Rubio would be a strong conservative choice for the Republican nomination for President.

In this post I will present you with the facts about his strengths and his conservative record. And yes, I’ll also address the two big criticisms, experience and immigration, and lay out why they are strengths for him.

Rubio’s a naturally gifted speaker with a quick mind, unlikely to make a fool of himself on the debate stage. A 44 year old Cuban-American with a beautiful young family and a compelling life story, he provides a strong and positive contrast to the cranky grandparents’ club of Democratic candidates. Throughout the campaign, polls have shown that Rubio is the GOP’s strongest competition against Hillary Clinton — he’s the “electable conservative.”

He’s shown an ability to respond to negative attacks with wit and humor, a crucial skill in what will most certainly be a bare knuckles brawl of an election. The contrast between the Rubio campaign’s lighthearted self-mocking in #RubioCrimeSpree and the ongoing drip-drip-drip of news stories about classified information on Clinton’s email server could not be sharper.

Not all first term Senators are created equal

As we enter the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency, being able to say “I told you so” is little comfort to conservatives who warned he was poorly prepared for the presidency.

Before taking the Oath of Office seven years ago, Obama had been the quintessential backbencher. Educated at some of America’s top colleges, he left only the faintest of impressions (compare this with the many interviews of Sen. Ted Cruz’s college classmates and stories of his younger years). Obama’s biggest accomplishment in the Illinois State Senate was competing for the record for most frequently voting “present,” and his U.S. Senate career consisted of little more than getting elected, showing America his great talent for reading TelePrompters at the 2004 Democratic Convention, and then running for President.

It makes sense that Rubio’s competitors would want to lump him in with Obama. The remaining governors in the race — former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — all say that their executive experience makes them more qualified for the presidency, and Donald Trump has made similar arguments about his business experience. But in contrast to Obama, Rubio’s path to the presidential campaign trail reveals a history of leadership and conservative decision-making that would serve him well as President.

A record of conservative accomplishments in the Florida Legislature

For Republican voters who want to see a proven record of actually enacting a conservative agenda, Rubio’s tenure in the Florida House of Representatives should be extremely encouraging.

The Florida Legislature has been under Republican control since 1996, and because of term limits (state representatives are limited to four two-year terms), the leadership changes frequently. Rubio was a standout almost immediately, being tapped to serve as Majority Whip less than a year after he was first elected, then advancing to Majority Leader and finally Florida’s first Cuban-American Speaker.

One of Rubio’s last acts before taking up the Speaker’s gavel was to chair a special committee to bolster private property protections in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Kelo v. New London, which broadened the scope of the government’s “eminent domain” power to seize private property for public uses. Prior to Kelo, “public use” was generally defined as direct government uses, like building highways and schools. The Court’s decision in Kelo allowed the government to take private residential homes and give them to another private owner, a developer who wanted to knock them down and build a resort, with the justification that the area was blighted and the new resort would bring in more tax revenue.

While Trump has repeatedly praised the Kelo decision and has personally sought to profit by using this government power for his own benefit, Florida was one of several Republican-controlled legislatures that quickly moved to push back against what they viewed as an alarming expansion of government power. The bill Rubio spearheaded was one of the strongest anti-Kelo efforts, specifically prohibiting the taking of private property to eliminate or prevent slums, blight conditions, or public nuisances.

When you talk to anyone who worked with Rubio during his time in the Florida Legislature, you’ll hear consistent stories about his intelligence, attention to detail, and passion for policy discussions. His staffers knew he would not only read the briefing papers they prepared for him, but that he would pepper them with questions and challenge any conclusions, wanting to make sure he fully understood the issues. A policy wonk at heart, the way he led the Florida House as Speaker would leave a lasting impression not just on his fellow representatives, but statewide, laying the groundwork for his successful Senate run.

A very influential little book

In September 2005, Rubio kicked off his Speakership by giving a gift to each of his fellow Representatives: a book that said “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future” on the cover and blank pages inside. Rubio told them to collect ideas from their constituents before the next session started. A website was set up to accept submissions, and “idearaiser” town hall events were held around the state.

Originally inspired by Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America,” the 100 Innovative Ideas went far beyond the scope of that 1994 plan that helped bring the Republicans back to power in the Congress and was far more grassroots in nature. State Rep. Dennis Baxley (currently back in the House after a break that allowed the term limit clock to restart) served with Rubio as Speaker Pro Tem and recalled how truly revolutionary the program was. “People finally thought someone was listening,” said Baxley, describing how “exciting” and “transformational” the town hall meeting were.

Eventually, the top ideas were gathered, reviewed and vetted, and Rubio released the finished book, setting forth his agenda and laying out the reasons behind each item. Turning the book into law required Rubio to fight a series of fierce battles, with a skeptical Florida political press, Democrats who were the minority but were nonetheless a vocal opposition, the moderate Republicans who controlled the Florida Senate, and finally Gov. Charlie Crist, who flirted with big-government liberal ideas long before he left the Republican Party.

In the end, all 100 ideas passed the Florida House, and 57 ended up surviving the Senate and Crist’s veto pen to become law. Having the agenda in such a clear, visible format — not to mention the grassroots origins of the ideas — emboldened Rubio and the House Republicans to push back against the critics and naysayers.

A tough negotiator

For the ideas that didn’t pass, Rubio still managed to negotiate some partial victories. Jim Geraghty at National Review wrote a detailed article last year describing how Rubio fought hard for a “bold” tax reform that would have reduced property taxes by $40 to $50 billion. A 1 percent sales tax increase would replace lost education funding, and counties would have the option to eliminate their primary residence property tax all together in exchange for an additional 1.5 percent sales tax.

This was a period where skyrocketing real estate values were creating financial stresses for homeowners worried about affording their property taxes, and the end result of Rubio’s tax plan would have been to shift more of the state’s tax burden from Florida residents to the tourists and owners of vacation homes.

Crist and the Florida Senate proposed a significantly smaller tax cut, then dug in their heels and let the sixty-day legislative session expire. However, as Geraghty noted, “the issue had generated enough public interest that not delivering any property tax relief would be a political disaster, so both chambers agreed to a special session.” The final tax relief that was passed was not as sweeping as Rubio originally hoped, but does illustrate his ability to “drive a hard bargain” and battle until the end with “Republicans he deemed as too passive and comfortable with the status quo.”

A grassroots tea party victory

When Rubio first announced he was running for Senate on May 5, 2009, few political pundits gave him a chance. Crist would toss his hat in the ring a week later, and immediately be on the receiving end of a deluge of endorsements and contribution checks. At the time, Crist was still a Republican and enjoyed sky-high approval ratings, and had much stronger name recognition. Still, Florida conservatives remembered Rubio’s leadership as Speaker, and the way he had tapped into the conservative grassroots to create the “100 Innovative Ideas” agenda.

Behind the scenes, Crist supporters and other party establishment figures were pressuring Rubio to run for Attorney General. The seat was open for 2010 because Bill McCollum was leaving to run for Governor (he would lose the Republican primary to Rick Scott). Rubio was promised that if he ran for Attorney General and did not fight Crist for the Senate seat, then the field would be cleared for him.

Rubio’s friend, State Rep. Baxley, resigned from his position as the Christian Coalition Executive Director so he could endorse Rubio, remembers discussing the idea of switching to the AG race. Rubio told Baxley that his wife Jeanette, was fully on board with him continuing to fight for the Senate seat, but he could see how the other path might be easier. “Marco, you know what Charlie is,” Baxley recalls telling Rubio. “That 70 percent approval rating is a mile wide and an inch deep, and once it rips, it’s going to rip wide open. You just need to get on a statewide ballot, let people know who you are, and you just might win.”

Crist, as expected, was the immediate front runner in the early polls – by what seemed to be an insurmountable margin. In fact, one of the earliest polls showed Rubio with a barely-breathing 3 percent, a number that his earliest supporters would later tout as a badge of honor, calling themselves Rubio’s “3 percent club.”

The funny thing about polls, though, is that they aren’t frozen in place. It seemed like every time a newspaper ran a story that Crist was a “sure thing,” Crist’s poll numbers got a little bit lower and Rubio’s got a little bit higher. Conservative activists embraced Rubio’s campaign, inviting him to tea party meetings and Republican clubs, where he would win over voters a few dozen at a time.

“I remember thinking, how in the world is he going to beat Charlie Crist,” said Linda O’Keefe, an early tea party organizer in the Central Florida area. “But Rubio was everywhere, and he was so willing to work very hard on his campaign, we called him the Energizer Bunny.” O’Keefe remembers that her Republican Women’s Club in West Orange County was the first in the area to book him, but then “boom, he was everywhere…he was incredibly popular among the Republican women’s club.”

Rubio’s campaign also coincided with Twitter becoming a prominent social media platform, and he was one of the first candidates to embrace Twitter, writing his own posts and enjoying being able to personally communicate with supporters around the state. With Crist having millions in the bank, being able to share his message for free online was an invaluable resource for Rubio.

So as summer turned to fall in 2009, Crist’s 35 point lead shrank, dwindling to just 1o points by November 2009.
One month later, Rasmussen declared the race a statistical tie, and then just after the New Year, a Quinnipiac poll had Rubio up by 3 points. Crist would never regain the lead, continuing to fall further and further behind Rubio until he finally dropped out of the Republican primary  altogether, to run as an independent. Rubio’s momentum was too strong to beat, and he waltzed to victory, capturing nearly half of the vote in a three-way election against Crist and the Democratic nominee, Rep. Kendrick Meek.

The dreaded “Gang of Eight”

Probably the biggest obstacle Rubio faces in winning over conservative voters is his participation in the “Gang of Eight,” the Senators who worked on an immigration bill back in 2013. After years of inaction by both parties, countless headlines about border crises, shocking crimes committed by illegal immigrants, and concerns about terrorism, it’s not hard to see why Trump’s hardline rhetoric on the issue has won followers.

There are unfortunately a number of conservative media outlets that continually write about the bill as if it is still an active, pending piece of legislation, and misrepresent the actual provisions of the bill, so let’s take a moment and recall some of the context around the bill. (And just as a reminder: the “Gang of Eight” bill is dead, having never even received a committee hearing in the House, and with the Republicans back in control of the Senate, it will not be revived. Rubio himself has rejected the bill and said repeatedly that it’s not the correct solution.)

During Rubio’s tenure as Florida Speaker, he fought for his 100 Ideas agenda that Florida Democrats publicly decried as “extreme,” but he was still able to sit down at the table and talk with them, and several of the ideas passed with various degrees of support from across the partisan aisle.

In the U.S. Senate in 2013, the Democrats were in control, and Obama was making speeches demanding that Congress take action on immigration reform or he would be “forced” to act. The Gang of Eight may have included Rubio and three other Republicans, but the Democrats were in control and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was much less amenable to dealmaking than the Democrats back in the Florida Legislature had been.

An imperfect bill

I had several conversations with sources close to Rubio during this time, and the expectation had been that Rubio would be able to push the Senate bill to the right further than Schumer and the Democrats would have done on their own, and then the bill would head to the Republican-controlled House, which would pass a more conservative version, and then the two chambers would have to negotiate a middle ground that, again, would be more conservative than the Senate Democrats would have drafted by themselves.

No one (and I’m including my conversations with several GOP members of the House and Republican staffers) expected the Senate bill to be the final version. With the Democrats controlling the White House and the Senate, there was little expectation that an ideal bill could be passed, but the whole reason Rubio was willing to sit at the table was to push the bill as far to the right as possible.

What the Senate ended up passing was met with loud and immediate criticism on the right. Rubio’s participation had resulted in the bill enhancing border security and visa tracking, and requiring all employers to use the “e-Verify” system to confirm employment eligibility, but many conservatives did not feel the language was strong enough, and had little faith the Obama administration would be tough in enforcing these provisions.

Misrepresentations about the bill

Without getting too far into the weeds regarding a bill that is dead, I’ll just add a reminder that some of these critics were egregiously dishonest about what the bill actually did. It’s easy to throw around the word “amnesty,” but there was never a version of the bill that granted citizenship without background checks, fines, waiting periods, and other security provisions, and any action that would have allowed those here illegally to obtain any form of legal status was contingent on first increasing border security funding. Rubio does not support amnesty.

Other critics were just flat-out dishonest about certain provisions of the bill, most notably regarding the “Marcophones.” There are vast areas of farm and ranch land near the Texas border that are very remote, and cell phone reception ranges from unreliable to nonexistent. The ongoing violence from Mexican drug cartels and human smugglers is a security risk for those farmers and ranchers. One of the provision of the Gang of Eight bill authorized funding for satellite phones in areas where cell phone reception was not reliable or not available.

There’s a valid debate to be had about whether the government should pay for satellite phones for these border farmers and ranchers. What’s not valid are the claims that this provision allowed the government to buy cell phones for illegal immigrants. The exact language of the bill said it was to allow grants for “satellite telephone communications systems and service,” for those who lived or worked along the border and were “at greater risk of border violence due to the lack of cellular service at his or her residence or business and his or her proximity to the Southern border.”  Anyone telling you Rubio wrote a bill to buy iPhones for illegal immigrants is either ignorant or lying to you.

Over the past few years, there have been a number of people who have claimed that Rubio has said he supports amnesty in Spanish language interviews. I debunked this in a detailed article I wrote for Breitbart last year that I strongly encourage you to read, and I would offer the friendly reminder that Spanish is not some obscure language only spoken by a handful of villages in a remote corner of the Alps. Spanish is the second most popular language on Earth, and the most popular second language learned in the United States.

If Rubio were actually saying something different in Spanish, you would see quotes and video, and it would be easy to verify. I’ve been following this issue from the beginning and I’ve yet to see any of Rubio’s critics actually provide direct evidence of him saying something different in Spanish. Certainly none of them have done a line-by-line analysis like I did with the Univision transcript. Instead, what you will see is the critics just telling you that Rubio supports amnesty and adding on their own context without any original sources that prove their points.

The people spoke, and Rubio listened

Still, a lot of the conservative criticism of the Gang of Eight bill was fair, and Obama’s track record validated the concerns he would not be tough on those who sought to take advantage of our immigration laws. Rubio, as the most conservative member of the Gang of Eight, bore the brunt of the attacks from conservatives angry about the bill, and he revoked his support of it.

Long before the rise of the tea party movement, people have complained that elected officials do not listen to them. With the Gang of Eight bill, Rubio’s constituents in Florida and conservative activists around the country strongly objected to the bill, and he changed his mind. Isn’t that what we want?

Republicans howled when Democrats used procedural tricks to thwart a Republican filibuster and pass Obamacare, despite the unpopularity of the bill. With the immigration bill, conservatives made it clear to Rubio that the bill was unacceptable, and he dropped any effort to support it, publicly denounced it, and has said repeatedly that he no longer supports a comprehensive immigration bill.

Rubio’s prediction came true

Keep in mind too, there was the looming threat from the President that if Congress didn’t act, he would by executive order. And Obama did exactly what he threatened (and what Rubio had predicted), first through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and then the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program. DACA allowed illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before their sixteenth birthday (later expanded even further by Obama) to obtain a work permit and be protected from deportation, and DAPA granted similar protection from deportation to illegal immigrants who had children who were citizens or permanent residents.

Thanks to a multi-state lawsuit led by Texas’ Greg Abbott (as Attorney General, before he became Governor a year ago), DAPA was blocked before it could be put into place, but DACA has been operative for several years now, allowing many illegal immigrants to avoid deportation. The lack of any legislative action, and the continued malfeasance of the Obama administration, means that what we have now is a de facto amnesty.

Better hope for solutions from Republicans

Our current immigration system is a disaster. Those who attempt to comply with the legal immigration process face years of effort and substantial costs, with little clarity or predictability. Obama’s DACA executive orders have many people in limbo, temporarily protected from deportation but no way to actually get in compliance with our immigration laws.

On the flip side, Americans are justifiably frustrated and horrified when we read stories about terrorists like the San Bernardino killers entering the country with inadequate screening, or the Obama administration’s refusal to even try to keep track of the unaccompanied minors who flooded across the border last year.

The bottom line is that no one, anywhere on the spectrum of the immigration debate, should be satisfied with the status quo. There is some hope, though, as we enter Obama’s last year in office. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has made it very clear that he will not play ball with the Democrats on immigration. Assuming Republicans can maintain control of the House and Senate, the type of immigration reform a President Marco Rubio would support would be able to first address the border security and enforcement concerns.

Conservatives did not like the immigration bill that was encouraged by a Democratic President and hatched out of a Democrat-controlled Senate committee. The kind of bill that would result from Republican-controlled committees in the House and Senate, destined for a Republican sitting in the Oval Office, would be a different creature all together.

A final note about what kind of person Rubio is

I have known Rubio since he was a state representative, so young-looking that Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings once mistook him for a legislative aide and asked him to make copies. He was well-known as an extremely talented speaker, and first attracted national attention with his passionate farewell speech at the conclusion of his time as Florida Speaker.

But let’s be honest, after seven years of Obama’s TelePrompter wizardry, we are rightfully skeptical of politicians who deliver eloquent speeches. What’s far more important, in my opinion, is what those politicians say when they don’t have cameras pointed at them and millions of people watching.

What you hear Marco Rubio say on the national debate stage in 2016, are the same things I heard him say when it was just a few of us gathered around a lunch table in Kissimmee, Florida when he was making the final preparations to announce he would challenge Crist for the Republican nomination for Florida’s Senate seat. It’s the same things he said when it was a few dozen Young Republicans and other supportive friends we asked to “donate $20.10 for Marco 2010” at a fundraiser I organized in June 2009 in Winter Park.  It’s the same things I overheard him say backstage at a recent event in Dallas, when he stopped to take photos with the hotel kitchen and security staff and then chat a moment with me before getting back on the campaign bus.

Politicians are notorious for changing their personalities, to chase opinion polls and as they rise up the electoral ranks, but Rubio still sounds like the same person we knew back in Florida. He has a lot of the same staffers and allies around him, and remembers and appreciates those who have been loyal friends. I’ve interviewed him more times than I can count, been in small meetings with just him and a handful of staffers, and there’s no “off the record” Rubio that is any different from the one you see on television.

Turning grassroots ideas into action

This is a critically important election year, and Republicans need to find a nominee who can not only defeat Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders, or a nominated-at-the-convention Joe Biden if Clinton’s campaign crashes), but who can actually support a conservative agenda from the White House. Rubio’s record shows he doesn’t just give good conservative speeches, he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk.

He has a long track record of listening to grassroots conservatives, gathering the resources and expertise needed to turn ideas into bills, and then the political negotiating skills to turn those ideas into actual laws. You can see that in both his successes in the Florida House, and in stumbles like the Gang of Eight bill (again, conservatives told him they hated the bill, and he listened). Rubio is also one of the only ones who has been able to actually take action against Obamacare, forcing the rollback of the risk corridor provisions that has sharply limited how much taxpayer money could be used to bail out insurance companies, and may hasten the bill’s demise.

Multiple metrics show Rubio has a solidly conservative — and even anti-establishment! — voting record. Add in his electability and appeal to independent voters the GOP desperately needs and the Florida Senator deserves to be on any conservative’s short list for the nomination.

Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter @rumpfshaker.

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Comments

Marco Rubio is dead to me. He destroyed his career with amnesty. He can never be trusted again.

    Milhouse in reply to BillyHW. | January 26, 2016 at 9:34 am

    What amnesty? As Ms Rumpf points out there never was an amnesty in the Gang of Eight bill, and the claim that he supported amnesty is an outright lie.

      I R A Darth Aggie in reply to Milhouse. | January 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

      So, he wasn’t an actual co-sponsor of Schumer’s bill? You mean to say this link is incorrect?

      http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/294387-schumer-introduces-comprehensive-immigration-reform-bill

      Well, as stated, it is a dead letter. Let’s look at something active, shall we? the so-called “Campus Accountability and Safety Act”, which he is a co-sponsor? https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/senate-bill/2692/cosponsors

      Stripping an entire class of people of their due process rights is…a conservative principle? or is he just dumb, and not understand that when you shake hands with the likes of McCaskill, Schumer and Reid that it would be wise to count your fingers afterwards?

      kefster in reply to Milhouse. | January 26, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Apparently Ms Rumpf has a different definition of amnesty than I do.

      “It’s easy to throw around the word “amnesty,” but there was never a version of the bill that granted citizenship without background checks, fines, waiting periods, and other security provisions, and any action that would have allowed those here illegally to obtain any form of legal status was contingent on first increasing border security funding.”

      If you allow someone who came here illegally to get legal status, that is amnesty. You can throw in all the feel good stuff you want, like background checks, fines, etc., but it is still amnesty if their illegal entry is rewarded with legal status.

      So yes, Rubio supported amnesty.

        Radegunda in reply to kefster. | January 26, 2016 at 11:25 am

        Trump has said that illegals should have a fast track back in once (he says) he’ll deport them all.

        But it’s different when Trump does it, right?

        Milhouse in reply to kefster. | January 27, 2016 at 2:27 am

        If you allow someone who came here illegally to get legal status, that is amnesty. You can throw in all the feel good stuff you want, like background checks, fines, etc., but it is still amnesty if their illegal entry is rewarded with legal status.

        No, it isn’t. You do not own the English language, and are not entitled to redefine words to suit your agenda. Amnesty means a general pardon to an entire class of offenders; if penalties are imposed then it isn’t an amnesty.

          Do you really believe these “fines” would have teeth? Do you think anyone would be deported for failure to pay their nominal fine? You think that illegals on government assistance programs would be expected to pay?

          The fines would be a joke. Those of us who are forced to play by the rules are not impressed.

          deadrody in reply to Milhouse. | January 27, 2016 at 7:49 am

          The only “penalty” that matters is no citizenship, EVER. And considering how quickly the alleged conservatives get rolled on virtually everything, it would only be a matter of time before “legalization” led to citizenship. So the illegals get NEITHER.

          And I love the focus on “border security first”. Yeah, fool me once, shame on me. How did that work out for Reagan ?

          There has been border security measures on the books for YEARS. Resulting in nothing.

          I’m not sure which is worse – that Rubio is too dumb to know a comprehensive bill with “security first” means no such thing, or that Rubio thinks WE’RE too dumb not to realize that fact.

      I was a big Rubio supporter starting in 2009. (Google RightKlik Marco Rubio). He was obviously very talented and espoused wonderfully conservative views. I was hoping he would run for president and win. Then he BLEW IT by partnering with liberal Chuck Schumer on Democrat-friendly immigration legislation. You can make petty arguments about the proper definition of “amnesty” but it won’t change the fact that Rubio betrayed his supporters, he betrayed conservatives and his poll numbers reflect that. If Marco Rubio were to win the Republican nomination, I would support him, but his chances are nearly nil and that’s fine by me.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to BillyHW. | January 26, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Hey, it’s a free country, so go ahead and promote Sen Rubio.
    But at some point you may want to let it go and face reality, the idea of Rubio in 2016 is a non-starter.

    Radegunda in reply to BillyHW. | January 26, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Trump has a history of hiring illegals and opposing deportation, but his fans say it doesn’t matter. They don’t require him to show a record of principle or intellectual consistency.

    Trump said that illegals should have a fast track back in, and his fans closed their ears.

    Trump has boasted about how uncritically besotted his fans are, and he really has their number. Trump fans will always forgiven him for anything.

    Rubio would be forgiven too if he had a TV show and if his manners were a lot worse (a quality that Trump fans confuse with trustworthiness).

Don’t take my comments wrong but didn’t we just try that experiment with obama? He was a smooth talker with no experience either in life or jobs and we see the results. Rubio has had only political experience and it shows. For me, the worst recruiting ground for POTUS is the US Senate. They make their living compromising and then their vote is only one of one hundred. No sense of responsibility for their actions and no leadership. That’s one of the reasons that Cruz is so unliked by his peers is because he does not respect the seniority system they use for power. He wants to get things done but must work with the back scratching that is so prevalent there. I predict that Cruz will not run for re-election if he does not win the presidency.

    rabidfox in reply to inspectorudy. | January 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Another problem with recruiting from the Senate is that when the Senate creates a dog pile, individual Senators aren’t held responsible. I’d like someone who has had to own up to his/her mistakes.

As Rubio’s parents were not US citizens at the time of his birth in Miami, he is not a natural-born citizen and is thus constitutionally ineligible for the presidency or vice presidency.

    Milhouse in reply to Skookum. | January 26, 2016 at 9:50 am

    There is no respectable support for that theory. It is held only by the same sort of people who think the federal government is not allowed to own property, that gold fringe on a courtroom flag makes it an admiralty court, that treaties trump the constitution, that the United Nations is a conspiracy to destroy the USA, and who believe in black helicopters, FEMA camps, etc.

      Skookum in reply to Milhouse. | January 26, 2016 at 10:50 am

      Do you have an argument, or do you think presenting a statement that is easily falsified (I know Rubio is not an NBC, but do not believe any of your other tenets) accomplishes anything? Do you derive pleasure cucking for progressivism?

    amwick in reply to Skookum. | January 26, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Minor detail, but natural born is and has been open to interpretation and legal debate… Everything is pc today, including presidential eligibility. Some people, myself included, have a very narrow view on that, some people would argue that there should be no edibility restrictions other than citizenship. Time will tell, I hope. The only thing an individual can do at this point is do some reading/research, make their own decision and vote accordingly.

      Skookum in reply to amwick. | January 26, 2016 at 11:03 am

      “some people would argue that there should be no edibility restrictions other than citizenship.”

      I will agree that there is no and should be no edibility requirement for the presidency, but if there were Christie is likely well marbled.

      Typo aside, a claim of no eligibilty requirement is untenable under the rule of constitutional construction. Only a corrupt subversive (like Perfesser Jake) and fools would claim that a clause in the Constitution means nothing or that “natural born” is synonymous with “born.”

      As to the subversive (or fool?) Milhouse’s claim that there is no basis for my assessment of Rubio’s non-NBC status, Vattel’s definition has been cited in at least four SCOTUS decisions. Neither Milhouse nor Perfesser Jake can cite a single SCOTUS ruling to support their subversive interpretations.

    RickBulow1974 in reply to Skookum. | January 26, 2016 at 10:48 am

    Actually, Professor Jacobson had written a good topic on Natural Born Citizen and how Rubio, Cruz, and Jindal are eligible.

    http://www.legalinsurrection.com/2013/09/natural-born-citizens-marco-rubio-bobby-jindal-ted-cruz/ – natural born Citizens: Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz

      Try reading the Perfesser’s shoddy and untenable analysis. It is clearly nothing more than his effort to see his preferred candidate regarded as eligible without bothering to touch on fundamental rules of constitutional construction or acknowledging relevant citations in SCOTUS decisions. In short, his analysis is long on verbiage and short on valid logic, which is typical of a cultural Marxist’s attempt to define reality through chanting rather than facts and reason.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Skookum. | January 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm

        Skookum: Prof. Jacobson is a law professor at a superb law school. Your qualifications to dismiss his learned legal analysis are…

          I hold Professor Jacobson in high regard, for many, many reasons. I also held my late mother in extremely high regard, but I can disagree. When there are legal procedures that cover this topic, I will be looking for discussions and analysis right here, on his website.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Skookum. | January 26, 2016 at 3:28 pm

    Skookum: the U.S. Supreme Court stated in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) that a child born in the United States is a “natural born” U.S. citizen regardless of the citizenship of the parents. That’s very much settled law. There are superb reviews of the history and law of this decision on the ‘net, and I encourage you to take a look.

    Senator Rubio was born in the United States. He’s a natural-born citizen. Settled.

      tigercpa in reply to stevewhitemd. | January 26, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      SCOTUS held that Wong was a “citizen at the time of his birth”. The question of his natural born status was not the substantive issue before the Court. Natural born citizens are always citizens; conversely, citizens are not always natural born.

      Citizen and natural born citizen are not equivalent terms, as A2S1C5 states.

Rubio pooed the scruch when he said the other day that long-term illegals could stay.

That’s ALMOST as bad as running them through a chute, just to bring them back as legal immigrants, ala T-rump.

    Radegunda in reply to Ragspierre. | January 26, 2016 at 11:32 am

    But it’s different when Trump does it, doncha know?

    Trump has the advantage of having no record to show how he would actually deal with political issues once he has power. And so his fans have a simple faith that he’ll keep the promises they like (but not the parts they don’t like) — and that he’ll do things he hasn’t even said he’ll do.

Nice, but no cigar, or is that too trite for the author’s efforts to paint Rubio as a conservative good guy? Sorry for my doubting Thomas attitude, but I actually met (and supported) Rubio in his early days just as he was starting out to try and unseat Charlie Crist.

Unfortunately, today, nothing he says sways me to think other than he is just another glib politician with pretty words. When he got to DC in couldn’t wait to “work” with some of the most hateful people toward our side. Grinning and glad-handing with Schumer and Reid isn’t the guy I want taking over. Period.

    Milhouse in reply to Lady Penguin. | January 26, 2016 at 9:53 am

    How exactly is a minority legislator supposed to get anything done without reaching across the aisle? The Ds were the majority. They could do whatever they liked. The only way Rs got any kind of say was to work with them.

      quiksilverz24 in reply to Milhouse. | January 26, 2016 at 11:30 am

      And now that the ‘Pubs have a majority in both the House and Senate, McConnell and Paul keep asking for the Dem’s permission to do anything. More weakness from the establishment. Go along to get along, right Milhouse?

Much as there is to like about Rubio, he did the one thing which is nearly inexcusable. He got caught saying one thing about immigration reform in Spanish, something else in English, and then lied about it when he got caught. Inconsequential against a serial liar like Hillary, but we should be able to do better.

    Milhouse in reply to Tregonsee. | January 26, 2016 at 9:54 am

    And you know this how? Can you cite an actual example of this? Or are you just repeating a baseless allegation?

      amwick in reply to Milhouse. | January 26, 2016 at 10:10 am

      I heard about that too, but here is a refresher…
      https://legalinsurrection.com/2015/04/bad-translation-misrepresents-rubios-immigration-comments/
      Tempest in a teacup?

      davod in reply to Milhouse. | January 26, 2016 at 10:22 am

      The Republicans did the same thing with the 2016 response to Obama’s State of The Union speech. Haley said one thing about immigration and the Spanish speaking Republican said something else in Spanish.

        DuraMater in reply to davod. | January 26, 2016 at 4:44 pm

        That “Spanish speaking Republican” was Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, another one of Miami’s own political Cuban Cartel (along with Marco Rubio, Iliana Ros-Lehtinen, Carlos Curbelo, Joe Garcia, and Mario’s brothers: a retired Congressman, a Banker and a Spanish language TV personality on Telemundo.

        Why oh why does LI entertain shills for these people? The current article is one of several I’ve seen here over the past couple years. I guess the NorEasters can’t possibly know what we Miamians know from experience.

    Radegunda in reply to Tregonsee. | January 26, 2016 at 11:34 am

    But if Trump changes his promises from week to week, it doesn’t matter to his fans.

Nice piece and good try, Sarah.

However, some others of us also are in Florida and know Rubio. There is no doubt that he’s a facile speaker (but then again so is his politico compatriot from University of Florida polysci, Debbie Wasserman.)

Rubio’s political career prior to this race was being a tool and front for the Bush machine and donors in Florida. Even though his record of showing up for work in that legislature was similar to his record in the Senate, he had an easy row to hoe, with supportive governor-mentor, and Republican state legislature and officials. He’s a great spox and cheerleader for his handlers.

One big problem that I have with him is that he’s never held any real job to speak of outside of politics — and that extends even to his education. No real-world experience in anything whatsoever beyond political conniving and maneuvering.

In addition, he really isn’t all that smart. It’s true that he made it through law school at the University of Miami, but he never practiced law to speak of (the cushy connex job with Broad and Cassel included.) He can’t hold a candle intellectually to someone such as Cruz, and not even Trump.

As far as Rubio’s political bent, he took up the tea party banner mostly to contrast with Crist. And of course we voted for him and supported him then — because what was the alternative? A lot of us feel that he is mostly opportunistic.

If I had to characterize anyone as the Republican equivalent of Obama, Rubio would be it.

He’s a young guy and he has a lot of time to prove me wrong. He needs to demonstrate some work experience first.

I’ll add one more thing. It’s little but it bothers me because it’s indicative of a pattern. When one of my kids got accepted to one of the military academies, Rubio was a brand new senator. There was a big to-do at MacDill AFB for the Florida admittees. Nelson showed up in person to congratulate the kids and so did pretty much all of the various nominating representatives from Florida. Rubio couldn’t be bothered. He sent a video of himself.

    MarlaHughes in reply to janitor. | January 26, 2016 at 10:38 am

    I am also a native of Florida.
    Rubio ran against Charlie Crist, who at the time was supported by the majority of the ‘establishment’ here and in DC. He won the race anyway. THEN the GOP got behind him but not until he won over the preferred candidate. He saw something that they didn’t see and that was Crist’s sharp turn to the left. It was just becoming apparent at that time.

    In reference to his job history unless you’re supporting Trump his history is about the same as other candidates.
    It ‘sells’ him to me because up until Rubio I would never vote for anyone for President unless they had been a governor first. His experience in the Florida House as a LEADER in the Florida House gives him more government level executive experience than anyone else in the lead. (Governments aren’t run like businesses and should not be.)

    Your assessment of his intelligence is opinion. You have one and so do I.

    Actually Cruz is closest to Obama in biography.

    re: video. Maybe Cruz was…….. gasp……. voting in the Senate or Florida House.

    Whiskey Bravo in reply to janitor. | January 26, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Well said, janitor.

Well.

That was silly.

That was a wonderfully researched and in depth record Sarah!
It’s going into my OneNote folder for political research.

“A final note about what kind of person Rubio is”
He is a liar regarding fundamental issues. He is the establishment dream this time around.
I will never vote for him.

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to Rick. | January 26, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Thinking carefully, I *might* vote for him.
    But I seriously, seriously, seriously doubt that any of us will be called upon to ponder that.

    Radegunda in reply to Rick. | January 26, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Does it bother you when Trump lies and flip-flops?

      If your question is addressed to me, Yes.
      Moreover, I don’t buy the “let’s not consider what Trump said or did before he announced that he is running for President in this cycle.”

good article, solid case for Rubio … he still has the fleas from getting in bed with Schummer … so he’ll never get the nomination … reaching across the aisle is a great idea … but with Schummer ? shows bad judgement …

    Radegunda in reply to dorsaighost. | January 26, 2016 at 11:40 am

    A lot of people who won’t forgive Rubio are eager to nominate the guy who helped Harry Reid and other Democrats get reelected.

    Rubio was doing what Trump says he’ll be really good at: Sitting down with Democrats and making deals.

    Trump fans somehow don’t hear anything he says that punctures their savior-hero image.

    Radegunda in reply to dorsaighost. | January 26, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Trump is boasting about how well he gets along with Pelosi and Reid and Schumer, and how well he can work with them to make deals — which, of course, is exactly what Trump fans say the detest when anyone not-Trump does it.

      Radegunda in reply to Radegunda. | January 26, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      The down-votes to this comment are proving, again, that Trump fans can’t stand to see plain facts that puncture their myth about their Savior-Hero — even (or especially) when they come from his own mouth!

      Trump fans keep demonstrating how fact-averse they are.

      Radegunda in reply to Radegunda. | January 26, 2016 at 2:29 pm

      Already four people saying “Don’t tell us what Trump is really saying! Don’t spoil our faith with facts and reason!”

      DuraMater in reply to Radegunda. | January 26, 2016 at 4:52 pm

      You can bet Trump’s ego is putty in Mitch McConnel and John Whacko Bird McCain and Paul Ryan’s hands, too.

Nice try, Sarah and Milhouse.

(Can that subroutine, the one that that introduces misspellings while you type, be turned off? I just spelled “Milhouse” correctly, only to have it turn into “Mulhouse.” I am using Safari, but this horrible auto-error has started since well after my last update.)

Keep pushing on the subject of the text of legislation. There is a steep education curve, there, and we will benefit as a country if even a few people learn that, to comment on legislation, you need to read it, and read it as a whole.

Misreading of legislation, sometimes deliberate but mostly sheer ignorance, is a fixture in our national discussion, and it makes for bad decision-making.

I found this website (Legal Insurrection) at the time when Arizona passed that “draconian” immigration law. I went online and asked for the text of it, because there was this huge explosion of commentary, but no copy of the law. I eventually found a link to the law as passed, here.

Meanwhile, the entire national discussion resolved around a stinging critique of a draft that was published by a lawyer (?!) at the New York Times (no surprise, there).

Yup, it turns out that Arizona legislators took good advice, and decided to pass a law designed to mirror the Federal law, but nobody knew that, because they were all busy railing against something that was never passed, instead of the actual law. The term “draconian” still gets used in a non-sarcastic sense to describe that law, passed by those awful right-wing nutbars.

The nonsense about “amnesty” on the right is every bit as well-founded as the nonsense about “draconian” on the left. The last time this nation seriously considered amending our immigration laws, conservatives were able to rouse the nation and make the point that the path to citizenship should not be through an illegal act (Ben Cardin, D.-MD). The advantage and momentum at that time was squandered by people who deliberately conflated the terms “legal status,” when used to describe guest worker permits with “amnesty” used to describe citizenship obtained through illegal acts.

The last time I read anything from Michelle Malkin (except her columns about her missing female cousin) was the one where she declared it a conservative “victory” that NO new immigration law was passed. Those who knew that the issue had merely been postponed for a more auspicious time for the Democrats were not fooled. We would not be having this discussion, but for the mischaracterization of Republican proposals.

    Radegunda in reply to Valerie. | January 26, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Trump fans just heard what they wanted to hear: “I’ll deport them all! I’ll build a great wall!” They ran with that, and they ignore everything else. They’ve claimed that no one else even talked about immigration and no one else would have talked about it if Donald the Great had not bravely led the way (while still, very possibly, having illegals tend his golf courses).

    On that slender base, they’ve built a mountain of faith that Trump is the only one who can or will even try to solve all our problems. He’ll smash things up in Washington! He’ll take a sledgehammer to the bloated government! He’ll get the debt under control! He’ll teach those scummy politicians a thing or two! Trump will make all things new!

    If anyone simply points to things Trump has said or done that undermine the myth, the fans get angry and say they’re even more determined to elect him! It’s crazy.

Yah, a big government, amnesty supporter. Everything the elite donor class wants. WOO HOO! Shame he didn’t run in the democratic socialist party. With the Hildabeast about to go tits up, he would have a shot at the ballot.

    Radegunda in reply to Fiftycaltx. | January 26, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Trump is probably the most big-government candidate in the primary. He has certainly done the most to elect other big-government politicians.

    Trump fans simply imagine that he’ll roll it all back. It’s pure faith.

    Radegunda in reply to Fiftycaltx. | January 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Trump speaks favorably of government-paid health care. He thinks ethanol subsidies should be larger. He thought the “stimulus” was the right policy. He says no to even thinking about restructuring Medicare and Social Security.

    In the face of this evidence and Trump’s lifelong preference for Democrats, Trump fans insist that we need “someone like Trump” to slash the government and get the debt under control, because “he understands budgets” (and the benefits of bankruptcy law …).

    Might as well elect any billionaire businessman, then — maybe one who didn’t inherit a fortune in the first place.

      DuraMater in reply to Radegunda. | January 26, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      I keep having this nagging thought that Trump is focusing on knocking out Cruz so as to advance Rubio. I note he has neglected the low hanging fruit of Marco’s misrepresentation of his parents as political assylm seekers from Cuba, and the fact that he is potentially the prototypical anchor baby.

The Trump phenomenon is not about amnesty, or the economy, or same-sex marriage, or Islamic Jihad or any other “problem” facing America. It is all about the Republican Party and the fact that the leadership of the party, and most of the elected Republicans in office, have turned their backs on their constituency. It started with the refusal, by the Party, to pay anything other than lip service to their conservative base. It has now progressed to the point that the Party has become a wholly owned subsidiary of progressive big business interests. And, the majority of the members of the party recognize this and are extremely unhappy with it. Trump is simply a way for them to make their displeasure known.

The biggest problem for the Republican Party is that if Trump is not the nominee, then many, if not most of the people who would vote for him, will, very likely, NOT vote for any other Republican candidate. They will stay home, as the conservative Republicans have since Bob Dole was the nominee in 1996. This means that the Republican nominee would have to entice independent and Democrat voters who are usually more likely to vote for a liberal candidate, such as the one fielded by the Democrat party.

However, as the Democrat party is also in step with many of the desires of progressive big business, a Democrat victory would not be a large hindrance to the achievement of the goals of this group. So, as long as either a Democrat or an establishment Republican is elected, this group realizes their short term political goals.

    rfhirsch in reply to Mac45. | January 27, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Why do people constantly attack the Republican “establishment” or “elites”. The current Republican leadership has cut the Federal deficit from more than $1.2 Trillion/year during the Pelosi/Reid/Obama era, to well under half that. Do these critics really want to go back to $1 trillion plus deficits because the Republican “Establishment” forced huge cuts in the deficit.

    Under the Democrats Obamacare, the Stimulus, and Dodd-Frank were passed, all over opposition from the Republican establishment. Since Boehner took over as Speaker in 2011, not one massive bill like those three has been passed. Do you critics of the Republican “Establishment” really want to go back to passing huge bills like those to get more government control over our lives?

I read the Rubio position paper on immigration that you linked. It places some requirements on illegals for applying for a work permit and then allows for permanent residency after ten years. It does not mention the fact that those permanent residents would them be eligible to apply for citizenship.

This is a limited amnesty, but it is still amnesty, is it not? My point is that Rubio supports limited amnesty and you are incorrect when you say categorically that Rubio does not support amnesty.

    forksdad in reply to Rabel. | January 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    The problem is, is that there were all kinds of requirements for the illegals to jump through back with Reagan’s amnesty. And they were all ignored/excused/waved when it came down to it. And it encouraged further criminal invaders knowing that the elites would eventually make them legal, give them benefits and let them vote. Not necessarily in that order.

Whiskey Bravo | January 26, 2016 at 1:23 pm

The article was well done and made some good points. However:

In the 10:20 comment, janitor made a number of very good counterpoints. I would like to point out one of my own.

We talk about “Republicans working with the other side”, but the elephant in the room is that the other side (Democrats) never works with the Republicans. By this I mean in terms of the days when two sides compromised to move through a serious piece of legislation for the good of the people and this country. Those days are all but gone. If compromises are to be done, it is the conservatives and in general Republicans who are doing it.

The problem is, Rubio showed himself as oh-too-willing to work with the other side (and RINOs) on a terrible piece of legislation when he was in the minority. That is not what is needed in a President. There is no guarantee that the new President will have a comfortable majority to pass his preferred legislation–and he may not have a majority at all halfway through his first term.

I don’t want any more bad legislation passed for the sake of being “fair” and “cooperative” with the other side. That is sheer foolishness. If it is bad legislation you kill it, or you go down fighting to do so. You pull out all stops and you put it to death. And a President who is predisposed to work with the “other side” to see that at least some good is passed in what is an overall bad piece of legislation, well, he is a weak President.

What we need is a stable and thinking President who will say, not just “no”, but “hell no”. Rubio has not done anything in the Florida government or federal government to show me that he would be that type of President–he has, in several key places, shown me he would be just the opposite. A compromising President who gets patted on the back for “getting things done”. History, however, has shown us that it is better for Congress to be deadlocked than to be passing poorly written and badly reasoned legislation.

We have reached the point in this country where we need to stop all the political pretense and start standing on our principles–no…matter…the…cost. But I’ve worked DC for enough years to know that this is simply not going to happen. The country has grown too selfish and stupid and the leaders self-serving and corrupt. Even if we do get a spike of good leadership, in the end, the die has been cast. We have crossed the Rubicon.

Probably the biggest obstacle Rubio faces in winning over conservative voters is his participation in the “Gang of Eight,”…

Right, and other than the showers Mrs. Rubenstein, how did you like Auschwitz?

And what did Rubio pay LI to post this agonizingly endless chunk of political fellatio pushing Chuck Schumer’s liar & squire? Shouldn’t it say “Warning — Paid Political Advertisement” at the beginning? Why should a blog build a rep for political analysis, then trade it in for cheerleader pompoms?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to DaMav. | January 26, 2016 at 9:21 pm

    “Right, and other than the showers Mrs. Rubenstein, how did you like Auschwitz?”

    LOL. Good’n.

The principal theme of the post is based on t g e unstat3d assumption that the electorate wants a solid conservative as its most important criteria. As Cruz has been learning in spades this past 10 days that assumption is FALSE.

This election is not about who is the most conservative. This election is about competence. This election is about

Build Wall
Deport Illegals
Enforce our laws

Rubio has irreversibly disqualified himself on these issues.

    Radegunda in reply to Gary Britt. | January 26, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    You’ve gone directly from a vague notion of “competence” to a couple of campaign promises. What’s missing, first, is any sense that Trump should be held to the same standard of reliability in keeping campaign pledges that every “politician” is held to. Given Trump’s variable political history, any great trust on that score is naive.

    Moreover, “competence” in business (a few bankruptcies notwithstanding) is not the same as having a deep understanding of national issues, or good judgment on them. Should we have a President Gates or Zuckerberg?

    Trump thought Obama had a “deep understanding” of economics. He thought Hillary Clinton would be best for dealing with Iran. His comments on foreign policy — and on just about everything, for that matter — don’t sound particularly informed or thoughtful.

    Trump has shown poor political judgement for most of his life — except when it comes to advancing his personal interests.

      Radegunda is a democrat who supports Hillary/Bernie and fears Trump as a result.

      Your post is just all old repeated ground, stated and answered throughout LI. There is no purpose to your repetition throughout every thread.

      I agree not every businessman is suited to be President just like not every of any category is suited to be president. Like not every senator, not every Cuban, not every Canadian, not every lawyer, and not every governor are suited to be President. This axiom is especially true of tech giants that may often be more like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory than they are rational normal people. Trump is in a business of real things, physical things, real people, normal people. Brick Masons, metal workers, pipe fitters, architects, engineers, government bureaucrats. A whole host of real life characters and personalities. No angel investors and pie in the sky stock valuations. Just hard nose to the grind stone work and vision to produce value. Trump is one of the few great businessmen who are by their experience suited to be president at this particular moment in history. You may not like that. You may not wish that was so. But it is. Deal with it.

      Trump has shown remarkably good political judgment in navigating all these years the shark infested waters of New York politics, unions, and real estate. Through at least 3 government induced real estate valuation collapses and the government mismanagement of the economy in general.

      Trump has shown 25 years of consistency in understand how we have been screwing ourselves on trade deals. He was on Oprah 25 years ago with exactly the same vision he has today. Exactly the same vision that has Senator Jeff Sessions endorsing Trump on trade deals right now today. His opinions on immigration, the wall, security, etc. are hearfelt as he amply demonstrated the day he announced, the day he bravely called for temporary ban on muslim immigration and visas. He is his own man unlike Cruz, Rubio and all the others.

      We need a leader for President not a visting Canadian professor of constitutional law. We need someone who knows how to get things done, not a specialist in conservative theory or some stick up the butt country club open borders conservative from the National Review.

Rubio is just Bush with a cuban look.

Rubio is a citizen and anchor baby but I have serious questions about him qualifying as a natural born citizen. I think he unlike Cruz probably is an NBC but it isn’t 100% for sure.

    stevewhitemd in reply to Gary Britt. | January 26, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    As I noted in another response, above: the U.S. Supreme Court stated in United States v. Wong Kim Ark (1898) that a child born in the United States is a “natural born” U.S. citizen regardless of the citizenship of the parents. Argue if you wish but that’s a decision that’s been around a long, long time, and has never been successfully challenged. It flows out of the 14th Amendment and is a bulwark against citizens finding themselves suddenly disenfranchised.

    Senator Rubio was born in the United States. He’s a natural-born citizen. Settled.

      Yes that is why I say Rubio is likely to be an NBC, unlike Cruz. However, correct me if I’m wrong but the case you cite dealt with a child of two legal permanent residents. I don’t believe it settled for sure questions of children born to illegals present in the USA or children of non-permanent residents in the USA. I don’t know whether Rubio’s parents had legal and/or permanent resident status at the time he was born.

        stevewhitemd in reply to Gary Britt. | January 26, 2016 at 6:44 pm

        USSC decision means that a child born in the U.S. is a natural born citizen, even if the parents are not citizens, even if the parents are illegal aliens. That’s why the term “anchor baby” came about.

        Again, it gets back to the 14th Amendment, and the concern (at the time) that a southern legislature could connive a way to take away a person’s citizenship by questioning the status of his/her parents. For example, to claim that a newly-freed black man wasn’t a citizen because his parents weren’t citizens, or that they were born in Africa, or that his g-g-g-g-grand parents were born in Africa, etc.

        So the Congress then wrote an amendment that made it airtight: if you were born here you’re a citizen. And that is exactly what the USSC affirmed in Wong.

        People may not like it, but it really, truly is the law of the land: if you’re born here you’re a natural born citizen.

          Interesting cite. Thanks. I’m not positive the case or the 14th amendment applies to children of illegal aliens, but it certainly applies in Rubio’s case assuming his parents were in this country legally.

I DEMAND a Spanish language version of this article to proceed this!

Cultural Imperialism!

Senor CITIZENSHIP FOR ILLEGALS Rubio has spoken!

La gente unidos SMELL AMNESTIA mucho!

Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio is reportedly heading to Iowa to endorse GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

“Joe Arpaio, the hard-line anti-immigration sheriff from Arizona, will appear with Donald J. Trump in Iowa today and endorse his candidacy, according to Mr. Trump’s campaign,” New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman reported.

Haberman wrote Arpaio “espouses some of the Republican Party’s most conservative views about undocumented immigrants.”

Arpaio is expected to appear with Trump in Marshalltown, Iowa this evening.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/01/26/report-maricopa-county-sheriff-arpaio-to-endorse-donald-trump/

No comment except to say good luck with boosting Rubio.

He’s pretty much toast with the conservative electorate b/c Gang Of 8 amnesty pandering.

Henry Hawkins | January 26, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Rubio is ‘mostly’ conservative. My niece is mostly pregnant.

If we’ll pardon a sports analogy, one can accurately sing the praises of QB RGIIIs skills all day long, but if he’s standing next to Cam Newton, well..

Likewise, Rubio is what he is, a fine fellow with many attributes and a big mistake, but he’s standing next to Ted Cruz. Why would a conservative looking for a conservative candidate choose Rubio over Cruz? That’s the only argument that matters now, at the beginning of the primary season.

The Conservative case AGAINST Marco Rubio goes like this: When he campaigned for the senate, he said quite emphatically that he was against amnesty.

He switched sides so fast after actually getting to the senate that the only reasonable interpretation is that he lied to get elected.

I am a one issue voter. The issue is character. Rubio does not have it.

Is there a reason why Cruz fans feel the need to fall on every sword in sight? An 85% supporter of your personal aims beats someone 85% opposed, which will happen if Cruz is nominated.

Cruz is not a happy warrior. He will lose because he does not have the personal appeal to overcome media narratives. If you want another four years in the dark, so be it. Give up the opportunity to have a conservative president, senate, and congress if you wish. Cruz is ostensibly principled, but he will die on his sword of false sincerity.

This is a fantastic post, incredibly well-written and detailed.

That said, I was around for the Rubio campaign, and he clearly made promises and posed as something that he was not. I originally had misgivings about him because of the state GOP credit card he used for personal expenses . .. until he was caught two years later and paid it back. To me, this said, “dishonest, loose with other people’s money, and not to be trusted. Ever.”

Then upon winning the senate seat, he was quick to disavow and distance himself from the TEA Party, and he jumped into Schumer’s amnesty arms at the first chance he got.

Deal breakers all.

NO AMNESTY!!

There is no “Conservative case” that can ever be made for a supporter of Open Borders immigration, like Rand Paul, or Amnesty, like Rubio.

If the D’s get Amnesty by legislation, which has been Rubio’s obsession since election to the Senate (for his whole life, really), then they get tens of millions of new hard Left voters and win across the board on EVERY issue for generations.

It doesn’t matter at all what a candidates *other* positions are – if they support Amnesty then they are, in effect, supporting the radical Left position on EVERYTHING.

Any amnesty or break for criminal invaders here now will lead to more in the future. They always vote democrat as do their children. Their culture is utterly incompatible with American individualism and conservative values. They are statists and socialists who remain that way forever.

It is perplexing that people are bashing Rubio, who is a real conservative, who is one of the top Tea Party successes (along with Scott Brown and Ted Cruz), and has a consistent conservative record.

Rubio’s lifetime American Conservative Union rating is 98, and for the latest year (2014) 96. He is tied for 4th MOST CONSERVATIVE of the 100 members of the Senate. He also is the fourth most conservative Senator in the Heritage Foundation ratings. These are the two most prominent anti-establishment conservative organizations in the country.

This is what the National Right to Life Committee says: “Marco Rubio has a 100% pro-life voting record
since his term began in 2011.”

Anyone who claims that Marco Rubio is not a strong conservative needs to explain why these three anti-establishment organizations rate him among the very most conservative of all the Senators.

but there was never a version of the bill that granted citizenship without background checks, fines, waiting periods, and other security provisions, and any action that would have allowed those here illegally to obtain any form of legal status was contingent on first increasing border security funding.

What is annoying about the Rubio flacks is their blatant goalpost shifting. One argument that has been made consistently is that enforcement has to be in place prior to legalization, or else the enforcement procedures would never happen. Note that legalization is not dependent on enforcement, but on enforcement FUNDING. Translation: the administration can give the money to “border security” and then delay them from actually doing anything with it to promote security, and the amnesty begins.

Best summary of Rubio’s record: Sarah Rumpf
Best summary of why Rubio must be GOP nominee: mala
Because, Rick, I, too, remember when this was a free country.

My political sensibilities most closely line up with Cruz, but I first stand behind the United States of America. The damage done in the past 8 years is catastrophic, but 4 more years would be apocalyptic.

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