Why I Defend Marco Rubio

If I were to vote today, I would cast a vote for Senator Ted Cruz. Senator Cruz is a true constitutionalist. He’s someone who has consistently held those values. He rejects the idea that Washington must always be “doing” something and that when far-left Democrats, like President Barack Obama, are in power, it’s appropriate to oppose the agenda moving forward instead of aiding and abetting it. I have had concerns about Senator Cruz’s ability to close the deal with voters, particularly independently minded voters that come out in the general election. I do not believe talk radio has it right on this point. Principles matter first, but marketing and salesmanship in a line of work that requires you to attract voters matters second most. I also believe that while an enthusiastic base of a candidate’s party is necessary for victory, it’s not the only thing that matters. I think the media and the Republican establishment have a different idea of who Ted Cruz is than who he actually is. I believe he does have the ability to win over independent and moderate voters, even if they are through unconventional means (Senator Cruz recently talked in length about Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the Star Wars saga in general to BuzzFeed).

My second choice is the exact opposite. I have no doubts he would be able to attract independent voters. He is very astute in the way he presents his policies and conservatism is general. He is a happy soul and is able to converse fluently in topics outside of politics. I’m of course talking about Senator Marco Rubio. The concerns I have about Rubio have more to do with policy than they do about aesthetics, so Cruz wins out in my book. Because that’s most important. Senator Rubio has shown a willingness to go along with the Obama agenda on immigration, promoting a bill that would have allowed for a special pathway to citizenship for people who broke laws to come here ahead of people who’ve been waiting patiently doing it the right way. I can’t get behind that. Senator Rubio has also thrown in with some of the worst elements of the interventionist wing go the GOP foreign policy smart set. It’s fairly obvious to any objective observer that interventionism has not been a friend to us. Yes, there’s absolutely no telling what Saddam Hussein would be up to if he were still alive and in power. It’s these two items that haas been dulling the enthusiasm amongst the base for a Rubio presidency. And dulled enthusiasm is dangerous, it’s what doomed John McCain and Mitt Romney.

That said, I’m doing one of two things in the comment section of conservative blogs these days: 1) Reminding smug Donald Trump supporters wielding all of the insults the conservative base throws these days (RINO, GOPe, the vile “cuckservative”) to actually look at the record of Donald Trump and see that he isn’t the shining example of conservatism some of his supporters believe he is. 2) Defending Marco Rubio against such attacks by Trump and sometimes my fellow Cruz supporters. In fact, my comments of support for Senator Cruz are probably third or fourth on the list. So why do I spend so much time defending Marco Rubio?

1) Despite his Gang of Eight support, Rubio is not a RINO and he is not apart of the GOP establishment, he is a conservative. You know why Chris Christie, John Kasich, Jeb Bush are all competitive with Rubio in New Hampshire? Because the dreaded “GOPe” has not made up it’s mind about supporting Rubio. You know why? Because he’s actually a conservative. Let’s not forget that Washington was desperate to defeat Rubio because they believed he would be beaten easily if he were the Republican nominee for Senate in Florida. Rubio ended up winning a three way race with Charlie Crist, the man the Republican establishment rallied towards running as an independent (For years later, Crist would take on Gov. Rick Scott as a Democrat.) In the senate, Rubio has been a solid conservative. He has 94% from Heritage Action, the most comprehensive account of voting records online.  The Average Republican senator has a 59% score. Most recently, Rubio has endorsed the Article V Convention of the States and has received praise from talk show host Mark Levin, who’s probably Rubio’s biggest critic on the airwaves. Yes, Senator Rubio has not won the commitment of the establishment because he’s not one of them. Rubio is their least worst scenario amongst the candidates who can win the nomination.

2) Senator Rubio is far more conservative than Donald Trump. There is nothing more annoying to me than the dripping sanctimony of a conservative Trump supporter (they’re a rarity, Trump’s support is mostly moderate / liberal for good reason). Donald Trump supports universal health care, he has said the system in Canada and Scotland works great. Marco Rubio has Democrats scrambling as he cleverly crippled ObamaCare by sneaking in an amendment in a procedural vote. Donald Trump has abused eminent domain laws to expand his private business and bragged about it, whereas Marco Rubio fought hard as Speaker of the Florida House to protect the private property of Floridians against them. Donald Trump has bragged about the support he’s received from the aggressive totalitarian Russian President Vladimir Putin going as far as calling him a great leader, whereas Rubio has called the opposition-murdering Putin exactly what he is: a gangster. While Marco Rubio believes it’s time we change the way we do entitlements and retirement in the United States of America, Donald Trump howls and uses liberal tactics, accusing such reformers of wanting to take existing recipient’s benefits away. I could go on and on, but the point is, Donald Trump discovered some people liked it when he made a stupid remark about illegal immigrants at his campaign announcement and he’s been skipping around pretending to be a conservative for the last few months. Marco Rubio, aside from his flirtation with immigration, has been a consistent one.

3) If it comes down to Hillary Clinton vs Marco Rubio, Rubio must win. If Ted Cruz does not prevail and it’s Marco Rubio who ends up on top  the nominating contest, what will have several months of the base crapping all over Marco Rubio over one or two issues have accomplished? It will accomplish Hillary Clinton becoming president. We need an enthusiastic base to win. If the base can be enthusiastic about Rubio, I believe he would win an election against Hillary Clinton handily. If the base isn’t behind him, Hillary will narrowly win. Hillary Clinton can’t win this election, but we can lose it. It’s time for elements of our base to be reasonable and look at the totality of Rubio’s record. There is a lot to not only be at ease about, but to be excited about. Even with his deficiencies in comparison to Ted Cruz, Rubio would be our most conservative nominee since Ronald Reagan were he to get the nod. That is something to celebrate!

So there you have it. Senator Rubio is a conservative, not an establishment figure. He is far more conservative than the candidate who’s supporters are throwing out the worst insults against others. And if it comes down to him and Hillary Clinton, Rubio must have the enthusiastic support of the base of the party if he is going to win and if we’re being truly objective about it, we would be. Senator Ted Cruz should win the nomination as he is the most consistently conservative and he’s got what it takes to win. But if Rubio is the nominee, he will at least have this conservative’s enthusiastic support.