Not only are Florida voters rejecting home-state Senator Marco Rubio in favor of Donald Trump in poll after poll, major Florida newspapers are rejecting him in scathing editorials at a time when Rubio needs more than everything to swing his way.
March 8, 2016
Vote for me to stop Donald Trump. That is Sen. Marco Rubio’s message to Florida voters this week as the Republican establishment desperately tries to prevent the billionaire from winning the Republican nomination for president and completing a hostile takeover of the party. It’s a weak argument from a weak candidate who is not prepared to be president.
Throughout his political career, Rubio has focused on promoting himself and preparing for his next move rather than providing leadership to effectively address the challenges of the moment. Relying on a charming personality and a smooth speaking style, he has been more talk than action, more gimmick than substance, more opportunist than committed public servant. The result is a thin resume, a reputation for failing to pay attention to detail and a tendency to bend when the political winds shift.
Rubio is a leader in Washington in one respect: He has missed more votes than any other senator in the past 12 months. To be fair, that is only slightly worse than Barack Obama’s Senate voting record for the same period in the run-up to the 2008 election, PolitiFact reports. But the fact-checkers also show that Rubio’s voting record is worse than Obama’s in nine of the 12 previous quarters before the presidential election. The best argument for a promotion is a stellar performance in the current job, and Rubio fails that test.
One of this year’s ironies is that the antiestablishment Republican voters whom Rubio relied upon to win the U.S. Senate race in 2010 have abandoned him. The 2016 version of the tea party wave is angrier, more disillusioned and wider. Rubio, who has spent his career plotting his next move and exploiting opportunities rather than building a strong record and a natural constituency, has no viable way forward absent a Florida miracle. He also has damaged his personal brand with robotic debate performances and foolish attempts to match Trump’s crudeness.
Even Rubio’s argument that Florida Republicans should vote for him Tuesday as the best way to stop Trump rings hollow. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas has more convention delegates than Rubio. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio has broader appeal and a better shot of winning his home state. A vote for Rubio may be a protest vote — but it won’t be a vote for someone who is prepared to be president.
March 4, 2016
If you think Marco Rubio can unite the Republican Party under a winning banner, vote for him. But remember that he has almost no experience and has done little but run for office. Then, when he gets in office, he doesn’t go to work very much. He holds the worst attendance record in the U.S. Senate.
Because Rubio has failed to do his job as a senator, broken the promises he made to Floridians and backed away from his lone signature piece of legislation on immigration, we cannot endorse him for president.
Without question, Rubio has a great personal story and tremendous political skills. He is smart and knows the issues beyond the talking points, no matter that one rote debate performance.
But Rubio is not the new-age Republican he claims to be. His positions on abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, gun control, government surveillance and Cuba are those of yesteryear. And unlike Trump, Rubio is reliant on big donors who will expect big favors down the road…
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