So I have said that I am a Cruz man, but Rubio is a very close #2 for me. I would happily support him if it looked like he was a more viable alternative to Trump than Cruz. The biggest impediment to me crossing over was the fact that Cruz kept beating Rubio both in actual elections and also in polls. I was willing to overlook Gang of 8, debate performances, and missed senate votes. After all, it is better than having Trump, Clinton, or Sanders. In reality Rubio is probably the most conservative nominee (with the exception of Cruz) since Coolidge.
I can’t say that any more. Maybe he wasn’t interested in being around for show votes or sparking unwinnable fights, that such fights would impede the progress of a conservative agenda. Maybe he would get better at debates before getting torn apart by a hostile media this fall (something he hasn’t really confronted). Maybe he was deceived by his colleagues when working on the Comprehensive Immigration bill. However… recently Rubio has decided to call Cruz a liar. Not Schumer, not McCain, not Grahm, but Cruz. Rubio claims that the bill was never intended to become law. So we are to believe that Rubio:
- Campaigned staunchly against immigration reform
- Immediately began working on an immigration reform bill
- Never expected that bill to become law
- That Cruz is a liar for bringing it up
I mean seriously, I have been lied to by so many politicians that my bar for assuming I am getting played is pretty low. I have heard a lot of blather from Rubio, but I haven’t really seen him fight for a position. When there was a national outcry about PP did Rubio try to capture that energy to lead? When Obamacare was the issue did he try to capture that energy to lead? When the debt ceiling was being discussed did it try to lead then? When the cromnibus was the issue did he lead? In what way has he actually led a fight? I hear people saying “results matter,” but 90% of winning is showing up. Maybe Rubio has never lost a fight, but I have never lost a professional UFC fight either – because I have never been in one. What has Rubio won? What are the things he will actually fight for, and how do I know it? When has he even bothered to show up for a fight? Do I believe him on Supreme Court nominations? Budget bills? Special interest handouts? Where has he built good will by fighting either winning or losing battles? Where can I believe that he will say “Thus far and no further.”
Basically I have given Rubio the benefit of the doubt that he is conservative and not just a politician. I have believed that he would be a conservative and not a compromiser. I believed he would be more like Cruz and less like McConnell. I now fully believe that Rubio is looking forward to working with McConnel and Ryan to draft bi-partisan legislation and make big things happen in Washington. To me this is not a good thing. I am at the point where I will abstain in the general if it is between Rubio and Sanders. Is Rubio better? Yes. Can I stomach voting for more of the same though? No I cannot, and Rubio is more of the same.
If you believe otherwise please point to specific things Rubio has done that go against the the go-along-to-get-along nature of Republican leadership in Washington. Not-present votes do not count.