If I were the Democrats (or Jeb Bush or Donald Trump), I would hope to God that someone out there had better dirt on [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] than what has been dug up so far. The first attack they tried was the “he missed votes” attack. The Democrats cannot use this attack because the last three major candidates on the Democrat side (Kerry, Obama, and Clinton) were all Senators when they ran, and all of them missed more votes than Rubio has. Jeb Bush tried to use it in the last debate, and Rubio spiked it in his face. There’s also the somewhat relevant fact that no one cares about this attack and no one ever has.
The next bullet in the anti-Rubio chamber appears to be the issue of his personal finances. To wit, the issue is that he has more debt than is generally considered advisable, that he was forced to raid his retirement fund (upon which he paid taxes), and the admittedly more serious charge that he used a Republican Party credit card for personal expenses some years ago.
The issue about the credit card was a clear lapse in judgement on Rubio’s part. Clear lapses in judgement happen, and Rubio has handled the issue about as well as he could by paying the funds back, admitting his error publicly (quite a long time ago) and moving on.
The other financial issues, however, serve mainly as a reminder of the fact that, at least until a couple years ago, Rubio lived on the income of a pretty ordinary person. Maybe they provide one of the reasons that he can talk with authenticity about the struggles people face in terms of paying their student loan debts and living paycheck to paycheck, because they are real life struggles that Rubio himself has faced.
Moreover, the three people who are raising this attack – Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, and Hillary Clinton – are possibly the worst people in all of America to level this particular charge against Rubio.
Donald Trump, who is by his own reckoning one of the wealthiest people in the world, got rich due to the fact that his dad was one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in America. Trump by his own admission was loaned $1 million (worth almost $7 million in today’s dollars) by his dad, but more importantly his dad used his political clout to help secure tax variances for the Donald and his name was influential in getting Donald additional loans which kept his companies afloat over the years. Trump is so out of touch with what it means to be an ordinary American that he actually hilariously referred to the loan of a million dollars (which is more than most Americans see in return for 20 years of hard work) as a “small loan.”
Jeb Bush, likewise, was catapulted to great personal wealth on the strength of his family name, which of course was one of the most prominent in all of America throughout the entire time he was growing up. Like most other people who leave prominent office, Bush has struck it absolutely filthy rich on a personal level since 2007, as he has peddled his access and his last name into a fortune.
Hillary Clinton, likewise, became ludicrously rich and powerful not on the strength of her own labor, but because she shares a bed with a man who was once the most powerful man on earth – and let us not kid ourselves, because foreign governments saw a huge advantage to remaining on her good side just based on the chances that she would become President one day.
Now look, as a good capitalist, I find there to be nothing wrong with people making money however they can, or passing their riches on to their kids in whatever way they want, or using their influence as rich people to grease the skids of their children’s careers. All that is fine and good and well and I’m not the sort of petty class envy specialist who begrudges anyone a life of success.
All that having been said, the optics of this could not possibly be better for [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]. He’s essentially being attacked by three of the most privileged rich people in America – and not only that, but rich people who gained their riches based primarily on the labors of others – for being middle class. When Trump and Jeb and Hillary sneer about Rubio having to raid his retirement account, you can almost hear the pinky finger in the air from the tone of their voice as they sniff haughtily about the impropriety of a commoner aspiring to the Presidency.
In modern America, [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] could scarcely hope for enemies like this, or for them to attack him using specifically this angle. I am willing to bet that if he could have, he would have paid Trump, Jeb, and Hillary to do it. Instead, because they are all tone deaf and not very politically astute, they are doing it for him, for free.
[mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]’s been thrown in the briar patch, and boy is he in trouble now.