There’s been a funny line of thinking coming out of the Marco Rubio campaign in recent months concerning his record and how he should defend it against attacks from more conservative (read Ted Cruz) candidates. Apparently Rubio believes his real record is not conservative enough to defend nakedly and proudly. Apparently he thinks he can blur the line between talk and action. This has culminated with multiple attempts by Rubio and the conservative MSM who back him to sell his record as identical to Ted Cruz’s.
This of course is utter nonsense. Anyone who seriously follows politics knows that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have markedly different records on a wide range of issues. From immigration to national defense to government surveillance and funding for Planned Parenthood, Marco Rubio is significantly more liberal. Nevertheless, Rubio and his backers are committed to lying about his own record while screaming that Ted Cruz is the real fraud.
The most recent avenue by which this strategy is employed is the funding of Planned Parenthood. Since the CBS debate last Saturday, Rubio has attempted to claim the mantle of ultimate defender of the unborn. He’s thrown around this canard that he has always voted to defend life in any way he could, including fighting to defund Planned Parenthood. But here’s the catch: he’s simply lying.
During the fight last fall over funding for the national butcher mill, Ted Cruz called for all GOP presidential candidates to “descend on Washington” and ensure that funding was ended. However, Marco Rubio was nowhere to be found when the punches started flying.
via an article in Politico from September, 2015 detailing the fight:
“Many of the Republican candidates on the debate stage Wednesday night joined in a full-throated endorsement of Ted Cruz’s damn-the-torpedoes strategy to defund Planned Parenthood, even if it means shutting down the federal government.
But two candidates who’ll soon be casting votes on the matter were noticeably silent: Sens. Marco Rubio and Rand Paul…
…When it comes to the premier congressional debate over the next two weeks, Rubio (R-Fla.) and Paul (R-Ky.) are in danger of being overshadowed by the bawdy Cruz. The Texas senator making a direct play for tea party voters is all-in: Do whatever it takes to deny Planned Parenthood its federal funding, including shuttering the government if necessary.”
When the Continuing Resolution funding Planned Parenthood was brought up for a vote, Ted Cruz voted against both cloture and final passage. Marco Rubio couldn’t even be bothered to show up to vote. Here is the Senate record to prove it: Cloture and Final Passage
You might argue that hey, it’s just one instance. It doesn’t at all imply that Rubio supports PP. After all, he’s voted to cut off their funding in the past. The difference between this fight and previous ones is huge, though. This particular fight took place in the midst of an epic national uproar over the leaking of videos showing top Planned Butcherhood officials sipping wine while laughingly discussing selling dead baby body parts for profit! As Cruz pointed out at the time, these officials were caught on camera admitting to multiple federal crimes. If there were ever a time to strip tax-payer funds from that horror house, it was then. If those videos couldn’t move Rubio enough to at least show up, what could ever?
Rubio clearly believes that he cannot beat Cruz on his own record. Thus he seeks to smear Cruz, hoping voters will not see a difference between the two.
If you can’t beat’em,
joine’em distort the record!