I started off this 2016 primary race as a supporter of Senator Rubio. Although I didn’t agree with him on every issue, I thought he was more than conservative enough for me to support him. Furthermore, I believed he was the most electable candidate in the general election. I liked his personal story and his ability to articulately present and defend new ideas and a conservative vision for America.
But as the campaign got underway characters were revealed, including Marco’s, and I was disappointed by what it revealed. He seemed willing to say whatever it took to try and hurt his rivals, even if the attacks weren’t true or were downright silly, like when he claimed Cruz was on the side of ISIS for supporting the USA Freedom Act.
However, that’s I’m now against Rubio not just because of his actions or his positions, but because of his team.
When it comes to politics, I’ve followed and studied it enough to know that the people a candidate surrounds him or herself with are just as important as the candidate himself.
This is why we absolutely can’t afford to nominate a moderate republican, or even a conservative who surrounds himself with moderates, like Rubio.
If he listens to their advice, which it appears he already is, then he’s gonna make the same dumb decisions McCain and Romney made.
For proof of how incompetently campaigns are run by GOP insiders, watch Game Change and Mitt. The former is a movie based on McCain’s failed 2008 campaign, the latter is a documentary that takes you inside the day to day events and interactions of the Romney team in 2012. I recently watched both of them, and they’re very enlightening and highly revealing. They’re also enraging and depressing, so I warn you to be prepared to feel extreme anger and frustration if you watch them.
But at the same time I believe every conservative should watch them just to see what really goes on behind the scenes of a campaign run by elitist liberal advisers and strategists.
I believe Rubio is going down the same failed path McCain and Romney went down, and if he wins the nomination, he’ll bring the party with him, just like they did.
I find it highly unlikely that Rubio came up with his team’s now infamous campaign strategy to avoid spending lots of time in Iowa and NH and instead to make as many tv appearances as possible. This has been criticized by both republicans and democrats who know that to win the early states, you need a strong ground game, which requires the candidate to actually put in the time on the ground and to meet as many voters as possible.
It was clearly his team’s idea, and he listened to it, just like Romney listened to his team’s idea to avoid criticizing Obama on all his radical past associations, and like McCain listened to his team’s idea to pick Palin as his VP.
A candidate can be highly qualified to be president, and even be a conservative, but what we have to keep an eye on is who has his ear, who’s giving him advice, and who his donors are, because those are the people who influence him and who he’s beholden to.
Rubio’s Campaign Team
So what kind of people are advising Sen. Rubio? As it turns out, many of them are long-time friends and loyalists, which is never good because that creates a bubble that insulates the candidate from hearing the truth and being told when they’re wrong about something.
Even worse than that, many of his staffers are former Romney and McCain advisers, and one of them helped write the gang of 8 bill.
These are the same people who thought it was brilliant to pick a newly elected governor from Alaska with no experience on national issues as their VP 5 days before the convention (even admitting to themselves she wasn’t ready to be president on day 1), and who thought Romney shouldn’t go negative on Obama even though Obama practically called him a murderer in an ad.
Basically, Rubio has just co-opted Romney and McCain’s entire campaign staff, particularly in NH. To me this already shows bad judgement. These people don’t know how to win, nor do they understand the conservative base of the party, yet Rubio thought it was wise to put them in the highest positions on his team.
Not only that, he has many former Jeb Bush staffers:
“Malorie Thompson: One of just a few women at the top of the Republican communications game, Thompson worked on the campaigns of Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa.) and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner last year. Like many others on Team Rubio, she once worked for Jeb Bush.”
Talk about irony. Rubio has been more than happy to criticize Jeb, but he doesn’t mind taking many of his former staffers onto his team.
Rubio’s Donors and Fundraisers
Just as important are the people who have given the most money to Rubio, cause as everyone in politics knows, that money often comes with strings attached and the expectation of returned favors if the candidate becomes president.
So what kind of people are donating and fundraising for Rubio? The same people who worked with and/or funded groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS that actually target conservative house and senate candidates around the country and try to elect moderate republicans in their place.
There are many examples, but here’s just one to prove my point:
“Anna Rogers: She’s poised to serve as Rubio’s campaign finance director and will be responsible for helping him raise the $50 million his team would like to have in the bank by early next year. She came to Rubio in January after serving in a similar role for American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, where she started in 2011.”
Whether he wants to admit it or not, Rubio is an establishment candidate. He might be a conservative on many issues, but on two important ones, immigration and foreign policy, he’s as establishment as you can get. It’s due to his positions on those issues that the remaining GOP establishment power players who haven’t supported Jeb Bush have decided to support him.
This should be a huge red flag to all conservatives who want the most conservative candidate as our nominee.
I simply don’t trust Rubio when his entire staff and donor network is made up of the same people who thought McCain and Romney were the best candidates and didn’t care what the conservative grassroots thought.
Contrast this to Cruz’s campaign staff, which is made up mostly of conservative activists and professionals, and it becomes a no-brainer who conservatives should get behind in this race.
In Cruz we finally have a conservative candidate who doesn’t have a donor network and campaign team made up of DC insiders and establishment politicians and advisers. Not only that, he’s a brilliant man who can defend conservative principles and beat anyone in a debate, and he can win in November.
That’s a rare combination, and it’s the first time in my lifetime I’ve had the chance to vote for such a candidate. We better not pass up this opportunity to support such a candidate, cause we might not have another chance to do so if we blow this one.