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Author Topic: Senator Marco Rubio  (Read 2624 times)
DougMacG
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« on: February 07, 2013, 06:02:59 PM »

Is Marco Rubio worthy of his own thread?  We'll see what the host moderator says.) Marco Antonio Rubio, 'tea party' Republican Senator from Florida has become a leading spokesman for conservative, freedom loving principles.  He could be a short lived phenomenon, but he has all the potential to become an important, transformative figure in a very positive way.

He is at the forefront of a number of key issues, most recently taking a controversial stand on immigration, and was chosen to give the Republican response next week to Pres. Obama's State of the Union message.

Time magazine chose him for their current cover story:  http://swampland.time.com/2013/02/07/immigrant-son/

WSJ columnist Dan Henninger critiques some past State of the Union responses and then says he expects Rubio to hit it out of the park.
http://live.wsj.com/video/opinion-marco-rubio-state-of-the-union-moment/11406B49-1CC3-4A3E-9C31-82790C90AD55.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_VideoModule_2#!11406B49-1CC3-4A3E-9C31-82790C90AD55

So much for keeping expectations low.

Noteworthy is that after rising to become Florida's Speaker of the House at a relatively young age, Rubio won a major, swing state, Senate race by a million votes.  Since then he has been one of the leading, articulate and persuasive voices on conservative principles and how they apply to the issues today.  

He declined to run in 2012 because he had barely started in the Senate.  

Of Cuban descent, he will deliver the address in both English and Spanish.  Some see that as pandering (or un-American?) but I assume the message will be exactly the same to both audiences.  We can judge his message by its content soon enough.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 01:28:47 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
G M
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 06:45:41 PM »

I think he deserves his own thread.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 11:32:54 PM »

Yup  grin
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DougMacG
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2013, 10:08:49 AM »

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/rubio-readies-republicans-response-obama_701127.html

Rubio Previews SOTU Response: Says He'll Push Contrast on Policy, Tone
He’ll be broad, upbeat—and preview the coming disaster.
Stephen Hayes, Weekly Standard (excerpt)

From the earliest days of Marco Rubio’s plucky campaign for the U.S. Senate, his diehard supporters spoke of the day that their man would have an opportunity to challenge Barack Obama – his policies, his vision, his rhetoric. They were certain that Rubio was so gifted an orator and possessed such a unique set of political skills that he would be able to make immediate and improbable leaps that most politicians could not execute. And it was obvious to them – this group the Rubio campaign hands called “three-percenters” because they were there in the days when their candidate was at just 3 percent in an early public poll – that the former Florida house speaker would belong on such an elevated platform.

He’s there now.

Rubio will deliver the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address tonight. It’s a difficult assignment – no one is actually on par with the president of the United States and several recent responders have struggled. But it’s one that certifies Rubio as one of the chief spokesmen for the Republican party – and for good reason. He is the best communicator in the GOP at a time when Republicans have struggled notably to sell their message.

In a thirty-minute interview in his Senate office late last week, I reminded Rubio that several of those who preceded him have failed. “Oh, thanks,” he says, laughing. “I haven’t thought about it that way. I guess if you don’t want the ball in your hands with the last thirty seconds in the game, you probably don’t belong in this game anyway.”

Rubio’s plan to “respond” to the president is rather straightforward. (He’s not actually responding to anything, of course, as his remarks are prepared well in advance of the president’s speech.) He will provide a contrast to the president in ways that are both obvious and subtle. Rubio says he intends to draw on his personal experiences growing up in Florida to explain to the country why Obama’s policies won’t work. The president has focused too much of our national discussion demonizing those who have had success, Rubio says, and paid too little attention to those trying to make it. He seeks to shift that emphasis with his remarks tonight – from a politics of class warfare to policies that elevate the middle class.

“The way I envisioned it is, I kind of went back to the people that I know [back] home,” Rubio explains, “whether it’s my friends from high school, or parents that I know from my kids’ school or kids’ teams, and if I had an opportunity to sit in front of them and if they gave me fifteen minutes to explain to them why it was that what the president wants to do is not a good idea and why what we want to do is a better idea – what would I say to them? And that’s how I’ve approached the speech – is to explain why it is that limited government, free enterprise is the best way to give people the opportunity to achieve a middle class lifestyle or more and leave their kids better off than themselves.”

To that end, Rubio will argue that there are costs to big government that may not seem evident in the lives of every day Americans. Among other things, he will focus on the president’s health care reform and the many failed promises that implementation of those policies will mean. It is not true, Rubio says, that those who want to keep their doctors and their insurance plans will be able to do so. And the tax dollars that are collected to fund Obamacare are dollars that will not be spent elsewhere in the economy. The challenges of Obamacare for business – particularly those small businesses with employees near the magic “50 employee” threshold for Obamacare regulations – will be extraordinary. The goal, Rubio says, is to make clear to Americans that Republicans opposed these policies and to preview the coming disaster.

“I wish we could avoid it,” he says. “But if we can’t, we have to at least have the credibility to say: ‘We told you this wouldn’t work; here’s a better alternative.’”

Rubio will also counter Obama’s anticipated proposals on energy, education, the economy, and debt – offering specific contrasts meant to provide a starkly different policy agenda from the one offered by the president. On debt, one of several areas in which Rubio believes the president is a failed leader, he wants to recast the familiar GOP argument. “The goal is growth,” he says, arguing that with pro-growth policies the federal government could generate an additional $4 trillion in revenues over the next decade, “more than any tax hike” under consideration. Rubio also wants to take arguments about debt from the theoretical and the long-term to the immediate and the short-term. “I think we have to link the debt to their lives. People understand that we have this debt and that their kids are going to get saddled with this in the future. And I think that’s a compelling argument. But I think an even more compelling argument, in conjunction with that one, is to explain to people how the debt is hurting them right now.”

“The debt has a direct impact on unemployment. Ever dollar that is being lent to the government is a dollar that is not being invested in our economy,” he says. “The immediate danger of the debt, and the one that speaks to people in the real world, is the fact that the debt is contributing to the fact that they don’t have a good job.”

Rubio, who has been in the news quite a bit lately talking up immigration reform, will raise the issue in the context of economic growth and opportunity. And while he will mention immigration this evening, it won’t dominate his appearance. Over the past several weeks, Rubio has run the conservative talk radio circuit in an attempt to sell that sizable chunk of the conservative movement on reform. While his principles for reform have been met with mixed reviews, with several pointing out a softening of the position he campaigned on three years ago, he’s mostly won praise even from those who don’t agree with him on the policy.

But Rubio’s remarks will likely provide a contrast to the president in other ways, too – particularly on tone. Rubio’s speech, expected to run between twelve and fifteen minutes, will be broad and upbeat. Leaks from the White House about Obama’s speech suggest it will be “combative” and “aggressive” and “specific.” Rubio’s response won’t be soft – he intends to lay out for the American people exactly how the president attacks his opponents and mischaracterizes their arguments. And Rubio will be blunt about how he views Obama’s idea of America. “On issue after issue – there is virtually no problem in America that he thinks doesn’t have a government answer, from concussions in football to the weather.”

Rubio’s remarks will be personal, sharing stories he’s heard from friends, relatives, and constituents to translate esoteric Washington policy debates into solutions for the day-to-day problems that Americans are having. Rubio will talk in some detail about the American dream – not as an ill-defined concept popular in modern political rhetoric, but in terms of what it means to the parent of a newborn who sees in his child the promise of a great country. He will attempt to speak to those Americans who are concerned about the current state of the union and despondent about its future. And even in a time of despair for his party, Rubio is determined to be optimistic – about the country, about its politics and even about the prospect of agreement with an increasingly intransigent president.

“We’re not just here to block everything the president’s for,” Rubio insists. “We’re not against everything the president’s for, we’re only against the bad ideas.”

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DougMacG
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2013, 09:13:19 AM »

My reaction is mixed.  He hit the right notes but in a venue and situation where it is impossible to hit it out of the park.  The main criticism seems to be that he paused a second to sip water once.

Good comments from Scott Conroy at Real Clear Politics:

"...Rubio's SOTU Response Was No Flop
...was a call for conservatives to govern by their principles and also an appeal to voters who have soured on the GOP in recent years, asking that they give the party another look.

Invoking the language and principles that infused Ronald Reagan’s conservative movement more than three decades ago, Rubio made a broad-based case for a small-government ethos.

“More government isn’t going to help you get ahead,” he said. “It’s going to hold you back. More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them. And more government isn’t going to inspire new ideas, new businesses and new private sector jobs. It’s going to create uncertainty.”

Even as he looked forward, Rubio also recycled many of the key arguments Republicans have leveled against Obama since before the 44th president took office in 2009. He accused Obama of believing the free enterprise system is “the cause of our problems” and charged that “his solution to virtually every problem we face is for Washington to tax more, borrow more and spend more.”

In responding to the emotional high point of Obama’s State of the Union address, Rubio acknowledged the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., but added a defiant note that echoed boilerplate Republican language on proposed gun control measures.

“We must effectively deal with the rise of violence in our country,” he said. “But unconstitutionally undermining the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans is not the way to do it.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2013, 09:43:25 AM »

Actually that last point is the one I disliked.  There is NOT a rising tide of violence in the country-- quite the contrary.   As I have cited here several times, over the last twenty years as gun ownership has gone up 35-50%, gun crime has gone down 50%.  This is a simple and profound point that must be made again and again and again.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2013, 10:56:37 AM »

Crafty,  Good point, he is wrong about the rise in violence.  The rise is in media and public attention to it right now.  There are two points to be made in gun control, the wisdom or utter lack of it in these policies, but also the point that stomping all over the constitution is not an acceptable way to approach problems it no matter the efficacy.
--------

Van Jones, extreme liberal, commenting on Marco Rubio:

"Marco Rubio is dangerous for Democrats.  He is dangerous."

"This is a smart guy, Marco Rubio, but when he connects, that last 90 seconds, Marco Rubio, he's dangerous."

"He is dangerous for Democrats because he can connect in a way that other people with those ideas cannot."

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/02/12/van_jones_marco_rubio_is_dangerous_for_democrats.html
----------------

Spanish language version of speech:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2ec6HQKsIg
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DougMacG
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 09:48:31 AM »

Marco Rubio has put his future on the line with the immigration bill deal.  The debate and amendment process is next, so the details discussed are not necessarily the final details.

"Rubio’s television appearances Sunday mean he is in for the long haul. But Rubio hasn’t committed to voting with the Gang of Eight on every amendment that comes to the floor, underscoring the narrow line he will likely walk throughout the legislative process. Rubio said Sunday he would stand against poison pill amendments but would also walk away if the final bill violated his principles."
...

Rubio also used his Sunday media blitz to hone a conservative message for a party rebranding itself. “We are the party of upward mobility; we are not the party of the people who have made it,” he told “Meet the Press.” The GOP is the party “of people who are trying to make it.”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2013/04/15/with_immigration_push_rubio_puts_a_lot_on_the_line-2.html#ixzz2QXjKSrmF

Conservatives pundits are already fuming at the stupidity: 
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/04/rubio-embraces-schumers-non-sequitur-or-is-it-the-other-way-around.php
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 10:38:53 AM »

This is good:  "“We are the party of upward mobility"

I caught an appearance of Rubio on FOX and thought he made a number of politically astute points about how there would be no welfare, Obamacare, etc. for those in question, how the catch rate at the border would have to be X% (90% was it?) and similar points.

As for Doug's Powerlineblog piece, I get the logic, indeed I have posted here during the campaign in a similar vein.   That said, the political decision has been made to "do something" in order to appeal to the latino vote.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2013, 12:04:16 PM »

http://townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/2013/04/17/if-rubios-amnesty-is-so-great-why-is-he-lying-n1571061/page/full/

If Rubio's Amnesty is So Great, Why is He Lying?
---------------

All I see are the same arguments on both sides.  Isn't she lying if she calls a plea bargain with a fine in the thousands of dollars 'amnesty'?  If you did hard time for a crime and were released at the end of your sentence, is that amnesty?

This bill isn't tough enough for me and it may get worse in the amendment process before it gets a vote.  We can argue out the provisions on the immigration thread.  In the meantime, it would be better for the people supposedly on the same team to argue the merits of competing policies rather than name call and mud sling publicly.  What is her plan?  Self deport.  How is that going?  We ran that trial balloon politically with the Romney candidacy.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2013, 12:29:52 PM »

To mix my metaphors, Ann Coulter is a drive by spray and pray bomb thrower.  It is what she does.  When she hits the intended target she is great, when she misses she can do so spectacularly, and when she hits the wrong target, she is long gone.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 12:33:12 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2013, 05:36:52 PM »

To mix my metaphors, Ann Coulter is a drive by spray and pray bomb thrower.  It is what she does.  When she hits the intended target she is great, when she misses she can do so spectacularly, and when she hits the wrong target, she is long gone.

Agree.  She is unfortunately erratic.  She is thought of as far right, but then goes all out for Christy and then Romney.  She can be brilliant with insights and biting humor.  Let's say Rubio is all wrong on this.  If so, he will pay a huge price.  Scorching his intentions and his integrity is not the best way to advance her cause, or the cause of conservatism, or secure borders or anything else.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 10:46:58 AM »

The details of how to re-write the Immigration bill can go on that thread.  Here, I was wondering how Sen Rubio could take back his support for the current flawed bill and recover his reputation.  He has been ripped by almost everyone on the right for this.  I think he is handling it the best he can now under the circumstances.  He acknowledges the validity of some of the criticism and is asking for help in writing the bill better and tighter.  He admits this bill as written is the beginning, not the end-product, and admits it will not, as written, pass in the House.  At the link he also comments on Syria and Benghazi.

Rubio interviewed yesterday by Hugh Hewitt:  http://www.hughhewitt.com/marco-rubio-on-obamas-foreign-policy-press-conference-and-more-on-immigration-bill-concerns/

Selected excerpts regarding waivers, the fence, e-verify, family members, and unilateral actions by Pres. Obama:

HH: ...How about the argument there are too many waivers to make this bill work?

Sen. Rubio: Well, look, first of all, I think that’s a legitimate and valid point that we should look at. I mean, if there’s ways to tighten this up, we should. We certainly, I mean, I think we need to start accepting the notion that Janet Napolitano will not be secretary forever. I mean, this bill, for example, has a ten year implementation window before people can even apply for green cards. At best, she has three and a half years left there. So she won’t even be there when the first five years are completed. But that being said, I think if there are legitimate concerns out there about the number of waivers in the bill, we should tighten that. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t. And I’ve always been open to that. I’ve always said that I’m looking for ways to make the bill better. Some waivers, quite frankly, some, not all, but a few, might be justified. They’re not all created equal. I’ll give you an example. We have a work requirement. You know, when you go and apply for your temporary permit to be renewed, you have to have been required to be working. But if you got hit by a bus and you’ve been disabled for six months? There should be a waiver for someone that’s in a hardship like that. So the waiver is really for exceptional circumstances. It’s not for, you know, we don’t like the law, so we’re not going to apply it. So I’m, look, I’m open to tightening the bill and making sure that that and other legitimate concerns are addressed. I think one of the things that we have forgotten in Washington is that legislating is not a take it or leave it proposition. I mean, I know that that’s how the way has been done, and maybe that’s the big problem that we have. People come up with a bill, and then they feel like they have to protect any changes against it, because it wasn’t their idea. I don’t view it that way. I think our job is to come up with a starting point. And I’ve always and consistently said this, that now other people get a chance to look at it. If they find things that they think can be improved or that are wrong with it, let’s deal with it. And so for those that are serious about improving it, I’m all open to that, and I think that’s in important part of this process.

HH: I watched your floor statement on the point about bringing forward amendments from late last week, and so if an amendment is brought forward mandating construction of a double sided fence over a specified length, and I think it ought to be at least half the border, a thousand miles or so, would you support such an amendment, Senator Rubio, that mandates it?

Sen. Rubio: Let me tell you, I’m fine with that. I am fine, and by the way, I believe that the enforcement mechanisms in this bill, in order for the bill to pass in the House, will have to be strengthened. And so I don’t, now I’m going to tell you, the debate against the fencing, from our side, is going to be people that don’t believe that the fencing is the most effective way to deal with this, that there are other ways that are more effective. I personally, and I’ve consistently said this, I personally believe that double fencing is a very effective, not 100%, but a very, we’ve seen it be effective in the San Diego area and the Tijuana area, for example. So I personally am supportive of that. Others have different views about what would be more effective. But the point is, I could support that personally, and I would just say to you that I am, what I can tell you is that what is pretty clear here is that there is such a lack of confidence in this administration’s willingness to enforce the law, and in particular, in the federal government’s ability to enforce the law. We’re going to have to address that in order for this bill to be able to become law, because I think the goal here is not to pass this. For those of us who are interested in immigration reform, the goal is not to pass the Senate bill. The goal is to pass a law. And you’re not going to pass a law if those elements are not dealt with effectively.

HH: And the e-verify program?  There are concerns that the e-verify program has a gap in this law. Can those be addressed by amendment?

Sen. Rubio: Well, I’ve read that concern. I actually don’t think that that’s true, that they’re talking about that e-verify will not be in effect for a certain number of years. That’s actually not accurate. It’s complicated to explain why, but we’re going to put something up on the web to explain it to people. But actually, that is not accurate. But what is more accurate is that the existing e-verify will be replaced with a more effective and more robust e-verify system.

HH: Senator, if an amendment comes forward that mandates construction of a double sided fence over, say, a thousand miles, as Charles Krauthammer said, from east to west, except for the mountains, would you vote for that amendment?

Sen. Rubio: Yeah, again, I mean, I don’t know if a thousand miles is the right number, but whatever that number is that wins people’s confidence, I’m for it. I have no problem with constructing fencing across the border. I’ve advocated for that. In fact, I advocated for a specific pot of money in the bill set aside just for fencing. ...And I’d be more than happy to expand it to be the effective ring. As you said, there are parts of the border that do not need fencing, because it’s high mountain or it’s a river, or what have you. I’ll leave that to experts and others. But I can say to you that I believe that double fencing in the right places has been highly effective, especially, for example, in the San Diego area where it’s really been effective.

HH: All right, well, the specifics, we’ll come back to. Eligibility for welfare, this has not actually concerned me, because I think the bill addresses it. But some of the conservative critiques out there are that immediately upon passage, millions of people will be eligible for welfare. How do you respond to that, Senator?

Sen. Rubio: That’s just not, I mean, there’s a specific provision that says they do not. Now if someone has found some sort of legal interpretation of it that needs to be tightened up, I’m open to it. But the clear intent of the bill is that they not qualify for federal benefits. They do not. And in fact, I saw some line somewhere, somebody had quoted in a report that one of my fellow senators came up with, they ignore the predicate to the entire paragraph, which is they specifically do not qualify for federal benefits, including Obamacare. That is the intent of the bill. I believe that is what the bill actually reflects. If someone has come up with a creative legal interpretation that someone can use to get around it, then we should close the loophole on that, because this bill will become unaffordable if that’s not the case. The reason why we want to prevent access to welfare benefits, by the way, and Obamacare and food stamps, is not because we’re trying to harsher than anybody else. It’s because the bill will become too expensive, and we will not be able to afford it if 11 million, 10 million, 9 million people become eligible for federal benefits. But I believe that the bill accurately accomplishes that. But if someone has a language they’d like to see included to double down and make sure that that doesn’t happen, I think everyone would be open to that.

HH: Another argument, …is that chain migration is not actually dealt with, and that the 11 million will instantly be able to bring in relatives up to 30 or 40 million people. What’s your…

Sen. Rubio: Quite frankly, I don’t know what they base that on. Again, if someone has found some creative interpretation that allows that, I’d like to see it, because we’ll address it. But I don’t think that’s true. And in fact, I know it isn’t. These folks, once they get temporary status, the only thing they qualify for under temporary status is the right to work and pay taxes and travel. They do not, you cannot, in fact, non-immigrant visa holders today under existing law cannot claim relatives to come to the United States. Beyond that, we have tightened the categories moving forward. So one of the categories that people used to use to bring up a bunch of relatives over was you were able to bring your siblings, et cetera. You won’t be able to do that anymore under the new modernized legal immigration system. That, in addition to only limiting it to minor children and spouses, will also weigh more towards the skills and job offers and the merits that you bring to the country. So again, that’s just not accurate.

HH: ...one of the things I don’t like, is I think kicking a border fencing plan to DHS to come up with, and then taking it to this commission, is a huge hole. I believe in just writing mandates in. I think he wants to do the same thing on biometrics. And it comes back to a crisis of confidence in the DHS. Nobody really trusts them and the enforcement mechanism.

Sen. Rubio: Well, that’s a big problem. Yeah, that’s the big problem we’re facing here. I mean, the number one obstacle we have faced here, quite frankly, is not people who don’t want to deal with the 11 million. It’s people that say look, we understand what you’re trying to do, but we don’t trust the government, and we don’t trust Republicans or Democrats in the government to make sure that this happens. And if we don’t do it right, we’re going to be right back here again in the future. And my answer to that is I think that we’ve come up with a pretty good starting point to make sure it happens. The law specifically says they must do these things. If there is a way to tighten it up, if there is a way to make it better, if there is a way to assure that it happens in a better language, or additions we can make to the bill, I’ll certainly be open to that, because I think that’s critical to see it happen. But again, that’s why, that’s the way the legislative process is supposed to work. You’re supposed to offer a bill, and then other people are supposed to offer ideas about how to improve it. That’s why we have hearings, that’s why we have what they call markups, that’s why there’s such a thing as amendments. And I think people should fully participate in that. If they are serious about solving this problem, that’s what I want to see happen. Otherwise, we’re going to get stuck with the status quo. And what we have now is even worse.

HH: ... this President does not inspire much confidence, and he didn’t like the law, so he just chained it on the DREAMers when you were prepared to bring in law to keep the DREAMers in status. How does anyone trust him on anything?

Sen. Rubio: Well, and that’s exactly why I’m involved in this bill, because here’s the problem, that what the President did for the DREAMers, he can do for everybody else. He can use the exact same authority to decide you know what? Everyone over a certain age who passes a background check and has been here for three years or more, I’m going to grant them the same thing I gave the DREAMers. He can do that right now, the same way as he did it for the DREAMers, but you won’t have e-verify, you won’t have border security, you won’t have any of those other things. And so what I’m saying is let’s not let that happen. Let’s get ahead of that by passing a bill that does e-verify, that does the border security stuff. If we want to improve the border security stuff, let’s improve it by passing an entry/exit tracking system, by prohibiting being able to get Obamacare and welfare and all these sorts of things. I think if we don’t do anything, that’s precisely what he can do right now.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 10:53:13 AM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2013, 03:51:46 PM »

Sen. Jeff Sessions chides Marco Rubio: "Marco, there is somebody on television pretending to be you!"

The gang of 8 on immigration (including Rubio) is voting against amendments to fix the bill, because they believe amendments will kill it.  Rubio thinks it should pass and then get fixed in committee.  Again, why will he have more leverage later?  I wish not to attack Rubio personally but I question this bill and his strategy.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/06/18/Sessions-chides-Rubio-on-immigration-Marco-there-s-somebody-on-the-television-pretending-to-be-you

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) poked fun at the notion that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) could be publicly saying the Senate immigration bill needs stronger security provisions, while saying in TV ads that the bill has the best border security provisions in history. Sessions has previously called on Rubio and his ally Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to withdraw the advertisements because of their inaccuracies.

Andrea Tantaros asked Sessions on her radio show to respond to reports that Rubio has not been seen with the Gang of Eight in public in over two months. “That’s odd,” Sessions said. “He is the one that’s in everybody’s homes running the ads. Makes you want to say ‘Marco, there’s somebody on the television pretending to be you, saying vote for the bill that you recently said shouldn’t pass in its current form.’”

Earlier in the interview, Tantaros said she thinks Rubio’s comments this weekend that 95 percent of the Gang of Eight bill is “in perfect shape” are not accurate.

“I don’t think 95 percent of it is perfect,” Tantaros said. “I’m looking at some of things that it allows for. I mean, if you commit identity theft twice but not three times you can still get amnesty. If you break the law twice but not three times, you can stay in this country. Let’s see, what else here. If you beat your wife twice but not three times you can still stay in this country. It doesn’t seem very strict on criminals."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2013, 10:52:37 AM »



http://www.nationalreview.com/article/351807/marco-rubio-we-hardly-knew-ye-jonathan-strong
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DougMacG
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« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2013, 09:45:59 AM »

What program, no matter how bad, ever got stopped after it was up and running?  Why is congress funding the "administration...spending Americans’ tax dollars on advertisements promoting this failed policy, ...sending out celebrities and other allies to convince Americans that ObamaCare is a good thing." The American people opposed Obamacare when it passed and oppose it more now.  The one thing Chief Justice Roberts got right is that the Supreme Court was not the only place where this program could get cancelled.  The one question that Karl Rove and the go along to get along wing of the Republican party cannot answer is that is you fund it now, when will you stop it and how?  The answer is you won't, so take a stand now.  Marco Rubio has this right.
-------------------------

http://townhall.com/columnists/marcorubio/2013/09/17/defund-obamacare-before-its-too-late-n1701860/page/full

Defund Obamacare Before It's Too Late
Marco Rubio | Sep 17, 2013

Over the next two weeks, the sad spectacle that is Washington will be on full display as Congress and President Obama debate yet another short-term spending plan, also known as a continuing resolution (CR). 

Early in my Senate term, I realized these short-term CR's were a miserable way to run the federal government and decided I would not go along with this budgetary charade again. I came to the Senate to solve real problems and eliminate the biggest threats standing in the way of the 21st century being another exceptional American century. The people of Florida who I work for didn't send me here to keep postponing hard choices and leave our problems unsolved for future generations to deal with.

And that's exactly what these short-term budgets do. Rather than prioritize government's proper role in American society or fundamentally end the way Washington borrows and misspends money, CR's mostly continue the broken Washington status quo.

With all that said, the CR that Congress will soon consider to keep our dysfunctional government open past September 30 is actually a major opportunity to save our people from the job-killing disaster that is ObamaCare. Because a major piece of its implementation begins on October 1, this short-term budget represents our last chance to stop it by defunding it.

Short-term budgets are a terrible way to run a government, but if we can pass one that defunds ObamaCare, we will be doing America's workers and job creators a huge service that will be worth it.

From the imperfect CR process, defunding ObamaCare would produce a clear-cut victory for American workers and families. Settling for anything less would be devastating to them.

The evidence of ObamaCare's failures is everywhere, and it is staggering. For example, in just the past week, several employers like SeaWorld announced they will be cutting their part-time workers' hours to deal with ObamaCare's tax penalties. The unions that have been the President's staunchest allies, and who were instrumental to passing ObamaCare in the first place, are now condemning it and pleading with the White House to be exempted from it. During the August recess, I repeatedly heard from working class Floridians about how this law would result in reduced hours, reduced pay and the loss of health insurance plans and doctors they currently have.

Despite all the warning signs of failure, what is the President doing? His administration is doubling down by spending Americans’ tax dollars on advertisements promoting this failed policy, and it's sending out celebrities and other allies to convince Americans that ObamaCare is a good thing.

We need to stop this. All of it. And over the next two weeks, we have our last chance to stop ObamaCare by defunding it in the CR.

There is a better way forward to help more Americans obtain affordable and quality health insurance, without sacrificing their jobs, income, current health plans and doctors they're happy with. But stopping ObamaCare by defunding it is the first and most immediate step we need to take. 

Time is running out to do it, but not the necessity of doing so.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2013, 12:49:22 AM »

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/marco-rubio-obamacare-cancel-policy/2013/10/30/id/533984?ns_mail_uid=32379927&ns_mail_job=1544018_10312013&promo_code=1565D-1
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DougMacG
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« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 11:27:20 PM »

Extended segment, Sen. Marco Rubio takes questions from Bret Baier and the "Special Report" panel composed of George Will, Steve Hayes, and Juan Williams.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/01/09/special_report_online_sen_marco_rubio_answers_questions_from_the_panel.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2014, 09:06:50 AM »

Keeping up with the Senator who won swing state Florida by more than a million votes.  Like Abraham Lincoln (and Barack Obama), he has no executive experience.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs subcommittee, shakes hand with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before their talks in Tokyo, Jan. 21, 2014 (today).  http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2014/01/21/rubio-offers-abe-reprieve-from-u-s-diplomacy-woes/

http://topics.wsj.com/person/R/Marco-Rubio/6882

Sen. Rubio Proposes Consolidating Poverty Funding
January 8, 2014
Sen. Marco Rubio, considered a leading GOP presidential candidate in 2016, called for the federal government to consolidate all of its antipoverty funding into one agency, which would then direct money to states so that its use can be tailored for local needs.

Rubio PAC Jumps In Big to Aid Tom Cotton in Arkansas
December 4, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio plans to come to the aid of a House Republican colleague this week with an oversized TV ad buy in Arkansas supporting the Senate campaign of Rep. Tom Cotton.

Rubio Says He'll Oppose Yellen to Head the Fed
November 21, 2013
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said he will oppose Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to lead the Federal
The Florida Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate criticized the economic effects of the Fed’s recent stimulus efforts, which have been supported by Ms. Yellen, currently the vice chairwoman of its Board of Governors.
“Altogether, she has championed policies that have diminished people’s purchasing power by weakening the dollar, made long-term savings less attractive by diminishing returns on this important behavior, and put the U.S. economy at increased risk of higher inflation and another future boom-bust,” Mr. Rubio wrote in a statement Thursday. “I don’t have the confidence that she is the best choice to lead this independent institution in the years to come.”

Marco Rubio: No Bailouts for ObamaCare
November 18, 2013
The health-care law's 'risk corridors' could result in a huge taxpayer burden.
Rubio: "It is a damning indictment of ObamaCare's viability when the president's only response to people losing their health insurance plans entails putting them on the hook for bailing out insurance companies. The American people are already being directly hurt by ObamaCare's early failures, and it is unconscionable that they be expected to bail out companies when more failures emerge."
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2014, 10:43:35 AM »

I find this to sound quite appealing and worthy of further consideration-- both on policy grounds and political ones-- this might be "sound bite-able".
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DougMacG
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« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2014, 08:25:08 PM »

John Hinderacker of Powerline:  Marco Rubio has been in the doghouse with lots of conservatives because of his endorsement of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. But he is solid on virtually every other issue, and is one of the most talented politicians on either side of the aisle. Yesterday he reminded us how great he can be, when he rose to respond to Tom Harkin’s paean to the wonders of socialist Cuba. For twelve minutes or so, Rubio ripped into the corrupt socialist governments of Cuba and Venezuela, and their enablers here in the U.S. It was a brilliant, impassioned defense of freedom and human rights. Rubio’s speech has rightly attracted a lot of attention; if you haven’t already watched it, you should:

A big mention of the atrocities in Venezuela as well.  "This is what the Castro regime supports.  Always on the side of tyrants."

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2014, 12:43:19 AM »

Some real fire in the belly there!  He needs more of this!

From a political point of view, this could play well too.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2014, 08:48:49 AM »

Some real fire in the belly there!  He needs more of this!
From a political point of view, this could play well too.

Peggy Noonan picked up on this as well.  Interesting to know that this is not teleprompter material from speechwriters.  The Harkin Cuba talk he is addressing was made on the Senate floor just prior to Rubio.  His notes were regarding the Venezuelan atrocities.  He expresses the moral side of freedom, at home and abroad.

Do you think he could hold his own with Joe Biden or Hillary, Hickenlooper, Schweitzer?

http://blogs.wsj.com/peggynoonan/2014/02/25/viva-rubio/
    February 25, 2014, 4:28 PM

Viva Rubio,  (by Peggy Noonan

What a great, myth-destroying statement from Marco Rubio, on the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday afternoon, on the facts about Cuba and their connection to events in Venezuela.

We have pressed in these parts for American political figures to speak clearly and with moral confidence about American sympathies in various international disputes. Rubio’s speech is honest political indignation successfully deployed.

Late last month Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa came back from a week-long trip to Cuba full of the wonders he’d seen. In a meeting with reporters he spouted inanities that were clichés a quarter-century ago: Cuba has fabulous health services, everyone can read. Yesterday Harkin decided to haul his inanities onto the floor of the Senate. Rubio heard what he’d said and followed him on the floor soon after.

Rubio pointed out Cuba has fabulous health services only if you believe a totalitarian government’s health statistics, its people can read only what that government allows them to read. They are an abused people in an oppressed culture.

What Rubio was speaking of is the moral meaning of things and the need for America to recognize and address the moral meaning of things. America should not stand mute when presented with political dramas in other nations, particularly when they occur in our own hemisphere. We have a voice. We should use it. If we don’t show our sympathies, who will? If we do not articulate our values and beliefs, who will?

What to do in the future about Cuba—what relations to have with it and policies to adopt toward it—is the subject of legitimate debate. How to approach and respond to what is happening in Venezuela is a matter of debate. But you can’t begin that debate with fan fiction. You begin it with facts and go from there.

If you don’t get the facts right, you’ll never get the policy right. And it does the world no good to see a great power fallen into relentless, mealy-mouthed obfuscation. That only adds to the slump-shouldered, depressed feeling that a lack of clarity always brings.

Rubio’s statement may make a bigger impression on the Republican base than he perhaps expected, and the pundit class may start to see him again as a 2016 force. An observation: Everyone in national politics worries about getting the right speech text, the right words. But Rubio got the words and meaning right through notes and pictures, not a prepared text. Cesar Conda, Rubio’s chief of staff, said the senator had intended to speak that day on Venezuela, but included Cuba because he wanted “to set the record straight.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2014, 01:30:41 AM »

I suppose this could go in the Ukraine thread but I post it here; it would appear Rubio is willing to speak specifically in timely manner while Baraq is still busy at the Democratic Happy Hour

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/03/8-things-obama-must-do-about-ukraine-104128.html#.UxJ55IWwVEN
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DougMacG
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« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2014, 12:29:11 AM »

Some real fire in the belly there!  He needs more of this!

Sen. Marco Rubi read Crafty's post and has agreed to step up his game. 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ITBac4ytyc
 
On Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference attendees with a fiery speech focused on redefining America’s approach to foreign affairs. He defined the threats he warned that the United States will face in the near future and defined current and long-term America’s economic challenges in terms relating to the preservation of free trade guaranteed by American military and diplomatic strength.

“We are right on the verge, if we make a few right decisions, of a new American century,” Rubio began. He took a populist approach to arguing against “big government” by saying that large corporations are able to “deal with big government,” while other smaller firms are not able to compete. He added that Democratic politicians are creating “disunity” in the country by focusing on addressing “inequality” rather than expanding access to opportunity.

“This notion that we’re going to pit Americans against each other on issue after issue is something that we should never accept as a people, because it’s never been who we are and it isn’t who we are right now,” Rubio said.

He pivoted to foreign policy, defining the threats faced by the United States. He said that China is threatening to take parts of the South China Sea which would limit trade and threaten America’s allies, a nuclear North Korea is testing missiles, Venezuela is slaughtering protesters, and Cuba remains an oppressive dictatorship. He added that Iran continues to pursue nuclear weapons and regional hegemony and Russia is attempting to “reconstitute” the former Soviet Union.

“And by the way, what do all these countries have in common?” he asked. “These are totalitarian governments.”

“There is only one nation on earth capable of rallying and bringing together the free people on this planet to stand up to the spread of totalitarianism,” Rubio said. “The United Nations cannot do this. In fact, they cannot do anything.”

“We cannot ignore that the flawed foreign policy of the last few years has brought us to this stage, because we have a president who believed but by the sheer force of his personality he would be able to shape global events,” Rubio asserted. “We do not have the luxury of seeing the world the way we hope it would be. We have to see the world the way it is. And we have to address these issues before they grow unmanageable, and they threaten, not just our freedoms, but our economy.”

“[Ronald] Reagan dealt with the Soviet Union because they had nuclear weapons and he wanted peace, but he never accepted the Soviet Union,” he declared. He said went on to outline how the behavior of the Iranian government should be unacceptable to the American public and regarded as illegitimate.

“If you think high taxes and regulations are bad for our economy, so is global instability and the spread of totalitarianism,” Rubio added. “What we have in America is the exception, not the rule, in human history. Almost everyone who has ever lived on this planet didn’t’ get to choose their leaders, and they didn’t get to choose their life either.”

“Every time I talk about how special America is, some commentator or whoever it may be will roll their eyes and say, ‘Well, that’s just something Americans tell each other to make themselves feel good,’” Rubio said. “You have the right to believe that. I don’t have that option, because I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2014, 04:23:56 AM »

For some years now I have been posting here about the lack of a coherent American foreign policy.  Certqinly the libertqriqn wing of the Reps offers one, but IMHO it contains some serious flaws.  Rubio begins to threaten to offer a vision.  This beqrs watching.
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G M
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« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2014, 09:00:19 AM »

For some years now I have been posting here about the lack of a coherent American foreign policy.  Certqinly the libertqriqn wing of the Reps offers one, but IMHO it contains some serious flaws.  Rubio begins to threaten to offer a vision.  This beqrs watching.

Libertarians have a foreign policy beyond "me and my shotgun on my front porch"?

Really? Do tell.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2014, 09:49:26 AM »

For some years now I have been posting here about the lack of a coherent American foreign policy.  Certainly the libertarian wing of the Reps offers one, but IMHO it contains some serious flaws.  Rubio begins to threaten to offer a vision.  This bears watching.

I don't know if anyone has a complete foreign policy 2014 answer, but at least Rubio understands the reality of the global threat situation.  He also gets the political and practical aspects of it: "that doesn't mean were going to be involved in 15 wars."  He gets the role of energy dependence in it.  He gets the moral case, and he is able to express it! 

He calls out liberals on their lame tactics, "that we are going to pit Americans against each other on issue after issue is something we should never accept as a people".

Best of all, he demonstrates a rare ability to express a populist case against big intrusive government regulations and taxation:

"If you are a big corporation or multi-billionaire, you may not like big government but you can afford to deal with big government.  You can hire lawyers and lobbyists and try to influence that regulation and navigate it.  If you are trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of your home, probably a violation of the zoning code, but if you are trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of your home, you can't deal with runaway regulations and complicated laws.  And that's why we're not getting the investment and innovation this country so desperately needs."

'American corporations have more cash sitting on the sidelines than the size of the entire German economy.'  Are Hillary et al going to point that out, make a speech like this or make a compelling case of how to get things going again?  No. They can't.

Barack Obama received the black vote, but he didn't change minds - on anything.  Marco Rubio may have very little in common with Mexican-Americans or many other Hispanics in America, but he can make this same case in equally articulate Spanish.  No liberal can do that.  Not because of language, but because we already know their policies lead to failure.

We don't need a candidate to eek out a win on the electoral map in 2016.  We need to permanently change a few hearts and minds.


Objections to Marco Rubio:  He is too young and inexperienced. Same age roughly as Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Bobby Jindal, and Barack Obama at this point of the 2008 cycle.  Same age as the median voter.  And Rubio has economic and foreign policy credentials.

The immigration reform fiasco.  He tried sincere negotiations with people who aren't.  Probably learned something!  His effort on this angered conservatives but likely made him more electable, which helps conservatism.

Executive experience.  He could go back and serve as Florida Governor for two terms.  (He already was Speaker of the Florida House.)  But where will America be if we wait until 2026 for a perfectly credentialed candidate?  We need to turn this ship around now.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2014, 10:11:06 AM »

"Certainly the libertarian wing of the Reps offers one, but IMHO it contains some serious flaws."

"Libertarians have a foreign policy beyond 'me and my shotgun on my front porch'?  Really? Do tell."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It isn't that they have an answer for the growing threats around the world.  It is that in the context of American war fatigue from Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam(?), their policy of 'do nothing, this isn't America's problem' is quite popular and tempting.  Rubio is acknowledging that.  He or any other candidate will have to unite the two sides (or lose).  Rand Paul has also moved at least his rhetoric to the middle from his father's blame America first, hands off, stay home approach.  This will be interesting to watch.

Rubio's approach is more likely to lead to peace, through strength and deterrence while the appeasers approach always seems to just embolden enemies and lead to even more trouble.  Case in point, Barack Hussein Obama: how are those Berlin 2008 speeches and Cairo 2009 speeches working out for us?  Can't we all just get along?

I like to remind isolationist libertarians that we had a little foreign assistance securing our liberties!  As Rubio points out, living without oppression is the exception in human history.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2014, 10:58:17 AM »

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/11/Exclusive-Rubio-Warns-Democrats-Angling-For-Single-Payer-Healthcare?utm_source=e_breitbart_com&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+March+12%2C+2014&utm_campaign=20140312_m119530964_Breitbart+News+Roundup%2C+March+12%2C+2014&utm_term=More
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ccp
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« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2014, 12:42:34 PM »

Just don't let the Clintons steal your ideas and pretend they've been saying it all along:

http://news.yahoo.com/in-the-age-of-reality-politics--rubio-finds-his-voice-102128536.html
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DougMacG
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« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2014, 10:21:51 AM »

Coming Education Debate an Opportunity
By Marco Rubio
http://www.realcleareducation.com/articles/2014/05/08/coming_education_debate_an_opportunity_967.html

Growing up, my parents taught me that hard work and education were the keys to achieve a life better than their own.

Unfortunately, they didn't make enough money to save for my college tuition, nor did I qualify for academic scholarships. Instead, I had to rely on Pell grants and student loans to pay for my undergraduate and legal education. Without these financial assistance programs, I never would have been able to afford a higher education. But even with them, I racked up over $100,000 in student loans, which I only finished paying off a couple years ago.

My story is not unique. Over 70 percent of new graduates last year had student loan debt. Making this worse is the fact that our economy is failing to provide these graduates with enough middle and higher-income job opportunities.

According to reports this week, soon the U.S. Senate will consider ways to help students obtain higher education without crushing them with loan debt. My hope is that, unlike most things in Washington these days, it won't be another political show - with the Democrats in power offering a take-it-or-leave it proposition that inevitably requires more government spending. I and others have some ideas that can make a real difference for students, and I hope we'll get a chance to consider those too.

Part of dealing with the current situation begins with recognizing how much things have changed since I and other policy makers graduated. For example, information technology, automation and globalization have dramatically changed the workplace, eliminating many labor-intensive jobs and replacing them new higher-skilled positions.

These jobs, unfortunately, are not readily available to just anyone. As many have found, finding a good job means you need a good education. And as many recent graduates have found, getting an education isn't always enough - it has to be the right degree at the right price from the right institution in order to pay off.

Today, our higher education system is too expensive and too inflexible, forcing many Americans to choose between spending four-years on a campus or receiving no higher education at all. And many online programs offered by traditional institutions come with the same high tuition rates as degrees earned on campus, so Americans who wish to earn a degree from home are still restricted. And too many alternative methods of learning a trade remain unaccredited and unrecognized as viable education options.

This year, I've proposed several reforms to fix each of these shortcomings. I proposed ways to open additional pathways to earning a degree or vocational certification, as well as ways to increase employment opportunities for those with non-traditional educations. I've introduced an alternative to traditional student loans that would make it easier for private investors to finance students' educations with the promise of paying back a share of their future earnings. I introduced reforms specifically aimed at helping the single parents and others who do not have the time or resources to spend four years on a traditional college campus.

But in order to expand access to higher education, we also need to help young students succeed on the front end of their education journey. We need to make it abundantly clear to all children that a high school diploma is an important step toward financial success, but that it is no longer sufficient on its own. We also to encourage student access to the many innovative ways that exist to help them pursue post-secondary education.

Across our communities, there are flourishing examples everywhere of schools, non-profits and charities coming together to make a difference in the lives of young people. Recently, I visited Booker T. Washington Senior High in Miami's Overtown area, and saw examples of how students are being empowered with community support. The school has an infusion of City Year members - a trained team of young people serving full time for a year as tutors, mentors, and role models.

When my wife Jeanette and I arrived at the school, we could feel the tremendous energy of these mentors. They serve as coaches who support students' academic goals, collaborate with teachers and administrators, and provide research-based interventions to at-risk students. The results are compelling, showing that a majority of students served by these City Year mentors see a spike in their reading and math scores. And by getting these students on the right track early on in their education careers, we increase their chances of success and not having to play catch-up later. We need to make more people aware of these types of successes, and we need to encourage more charitable giving and participation to these efforts.

There are other local examples of programs in place to help high school students learn skills that lead directly to good-paying work after graduation. For instance, in South Florida, the local school district has partnered with a car dealership to create an innovative approach to career education.

The students in this program attend traditional high school classes each morning, then go to auto dealerships where they are trained to be certified technicians. When they finish high school, they graduate not just with a high school diploma but also with a job-ready industry certification from an automobile manufacturer.

Communities all across America would benefit from programs and partnerships like these. By combining these sorts of community-based initiatives with a reformed and modernized higher education system, a century of extraordinary opportunity can be opened to our people.

The time to act is now. With the changes our economy has undergone, more Americans are experiencing extraordinary economic insecurity. Now more than ever, our people need skills, knowledge and credentials to capitalize on their potential - and on the potential of this new era. When the issue is considered again in Congress, I hope this important issue that impacts so many of our young people won't fall prey to politics as usual in Washington.

Marco Rubio is the junior United States Senator from Florida, serving since January 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives from 2007 to 2009. His committee assignments currently include Commerce, Science and Transportation; Foreign Relations; Intelligence; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. He and his wife, Jeanette, have four young children and live in West Miami.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #32 on: May 12, 2014, 10:30:56 AM »

Eliana Johnson writes about Rubio at National Review today:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377743/rubios-resurgence-eliana-johnson

At the time of my reading this, I noticed that all the comments on Rubio are ruthlessly negative because of the immigration fiasco. Same with commenters on sites like free republic, (and here?). That is probably the only way Dems can win this time around, if Republicans eat all their own.
------------------------------------------------------
Rubio’s Resurgence
Tea-party hero Marco Rubio is gaining credibility with the GOP establishment.
By Eliana Johnson

Marco Rubio is flashing across a lot of television sets in Colorado right now. On Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce began airing ads in the state in both English and Spanish in which Rubio makes the case for Republican representative Cory Gardner, who is challenging incumbent Democratic senator Mark Udall in the November election. Early polls suggest that the race will be among the most competitive of the cycle.

The Chamber is pleased with the results. “We are getting phenomenal feedback at the local level,” says Scott Reed, the organization’s senior political strategist. “We think this is a real incubator for a message and a messenger to appeal to Hispanic voters all over the country, even with a fast-talking Cuban.”
 
That reaction — and praise from the Chamber that is directly challenging the Tea Party in some races — is one sign of Rubio’s rising stock in the Republican political establishment. Look also to New Hampshire, where Rubio headlined three fundraisers on Friday and where the state’s representative to the Republican National Committee told the Associated Press that Rubio, who rode to office in the tea-party wave of 2010, “comes across as a serious and thoughtful mainstream conservative.”
Rubio seems to have no doubt, telling ABC’s This Week on Sunday — citing his nearly 15 years as a public officeholder — that, yes, he is ready to be president.  

Remarks like these are one indication of how Rubio is apt to profit in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes if things continue to break his way – that is, if New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who six months ago was considered the potential frontrunner for the Republican nomination, does not bounce back from Bridgegate, and if Jeb Bush decides not to run. In that case, Rubio is the most likely to become the establishment favorite for the nomination, although he will have competition, especially from candidates who are governors.

“The so-called establishment wants to make sure they have folks that can win,” says Republican strategist Kevin Madden. “Rubio clearly has a profile that is very attractive as a national candidate. He can also attract a growing part of the electorate with Hispanic voters and also some moderate to conservative Democrats.”

At the same time, Rubio has far more reach into the tea-party world than do Christie and Bush, the candidates the establishment has already courted — and been spurned by — this campaign season. Christie has long battled skepticism from the Right, which remains scornful about his embrace of President Obama days before the 2012 election; he finished dead last in a February poll of tea-party activists. Bush finished second to last in the same poll. Among the party’s most conservative voters, the former Florida governor is handicapped by his support for immigration reform and for the Common Core educational standards, against which the tea-party base is waging a vocal revolt; Bush lacks the conservative bona fides that would help conservatives overlook his own support for a sweeping immigration overhaul.

In fact, Rubio’s first supporters at the national level were insurgents. The former Florida house speaker came to national political fame as a hero of the tea-party movement. In 2010, former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, now president of the Heritage Foundation, hailed then-candidate Rubio’s “articulate and passionate support for conservative principles” and lamented that he was “being overlooked by some in the Republican party at a time when his leadership is needed most.” Rubio’s insurgent candidacy, which drove former Florida governor Charlie Crist from the Republican party, was endorsed by both the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth.

Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, endorsed Rubio in 2010 and still considers him an insurgent force. “It’s ironic to call Rubio an establishment figure, given where he started his Senate race, which is very anti-establishment,” Chocola says. Four years into Rubio’s Senate term, Chocola calls the decision to support his candidacy a “great” one and says he’s “proud to have an association” with Rubio. “We think he’s done a great job,” he adds. “If he did run for president, he’s got a record that would be appealing to many conservatives.”

His rating with the American Conservative Union, which ACU chairman Al Cardenas, a Rubio pal, calls the “gold standard to determine whether you’re a true conservative,” suggests as much. Rubio has consistently scored in the top 10 percent and, in 2013, was one of six senators who scored a perfect 100.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 12:35:30 PM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2014, 09:03:24 AM »

If not Marco Rubio, then someone needs to do the heavy lifting, of making positive proposals for the future that will connect free market ideas with a government dependent electorate.  Nice article here by Peter Wehner at Commentary magazine for context, then read the speech: http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=7ce7531f-be09-4688-a320-fccb49a16c76
or view the video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-99LyfZa6s  (54 minutes with intro and questions at the end)

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/07/01/rubios-effort-to-modernize-the-gop/

Rubio’s Effort to Modernize the GOP
Peter Wehner
07.01.2014

In an earlier post I asked who on the right, in the wake of the ruins of the Obama presidency, will step up and seize the opportunity. Among those who are is Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

Last week Senator Rubio gave a policy address, which elicited favorable comments from Ross Douthat, Ramesh Ponnuru, Jim Pethokoukis, and Reihan Salam. Like these four, I found Senator Rubio’s speech, co-hosted by Hillsdale College and the YG Network, to be quite impressive. The Florida senator offered ideas on how to reform our entitlement programs, tax code, higher education, health care, and our social safety net. In doing so, he spoke about single mothers and working class families, wage stagnation, student debt and retirement security, and the effects of globalization and automation. And like Representative Paul Ryan, Rubio understands the need for structural changes in programs, which is quite different, and rather more important than, simply reducing spending.

In making his case, Senator Rubio presented himself as an advocate for modernization rather than moderation (in this instance meaning nudging the GOP in a more liberal direction). He spoke about the need for a policy agenda designed for the 21st century and adjusting to the realities of this new era. Mr. Rubio clearly wants the GOP to be both conservative and constructive, opposing the president’s agenda but also willing to offer alternatives to it. The left, he says, is offering ideas that are old, tired and stale; a conservative agenda, as Rubio has laid it out, is innovative, responsive, and “applies the principles of our founding to the challenges and the opportunities facing Americans in their daily lives.” That strikes me as a pretty intelligent way to frame things, particularly given that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden are thought to be the two leading figures for the Democratic Party in a post-Obama world.

What also strikes me about Senator Rubio is that unlike some others, whose main ability is to bring hard-core supporters to their feet, he seems eager and capable of persuading those who are not on his side yet who may be amenable to his point of view. A friend of mine says he gets the sense from Rubio that he hasn’t spent his life in a political echo chamber, only hanging around like-minded individuals. He has the capacity, I think, to reach people who aren’t members of the NRA or the Federalist Society, the Tea Party or the American Conservative Union. The ability to find connection with people who aren’t already supporters is a fairly valuable skill in politics–and for a party that is regularly losing presidential elections, a necessary one.

The governing agenda Marco Rubio sketched out last week will hardly be the final word, but it is a very good starting point for discussion. Its aim is to broaden the appeal of the GOP without violating the party’s core principles. Other Republicans, particularly those thinking about running for president in 2016, will attempt to occupy this space as well. That’s all to the good, since the GOP has a formidable task: to reconnect with a middle America that looks different than it once did.

I’ve pointed out before that during the GOP nomination contest in 2012—involving dozens of state Republican primaries, more than 20 debates, and tens of millions of dollars in ads—issues such as upward mobility, education, middle-class concerns, poverty, strong communities and safe streets, corporate welfare, cultural renewal, and immigration either were hardly mentioned or were discussed in the most disaffecting way possible. There was more talk about electrified fences and self-deportation than there was about higher education reform, social and economic opportunity, or the modernization of our governing institutions.

Marco Rubio wants to change that. So do other talented and ambitious Republicans. More power to them.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2014, 12:04:21 PM »

Senator Marco Rubio: Obama Needs to Dig In for a Fight in Iraq
Marco Rubio Aug. 8, 2014     

http://time.com/3093021/marco-rubio-obama-isis-iraq/

WASHINGTON, DC - June 28: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., during the Senate Foreign Relations markup of legislation (S J Res 20) that would authorize limited U.S. military force in support of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) humanitarian intervention in Libya.

Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups continue to threaten Israel. The United States and its allies have been forced to close their diplomatic missions in Libya because of fighting between secular militias and al Qaeda-affiliated groups. The Taliban is going on the offensive in Afghanistan as the United States and coalition partners continue to draw down.

ISIS, an extreme Sunni militant group that emerged from al Qaeda, has been occupying and razing churches across Iraq, pulling down crosses, destroying religious documents and holy sites, and forcing Christians and other non-Sunni Iraqis to convert or face death. It is capturing young girls and the widows of men they have executed for their own unmarried fighters. It has seized bridges, dams and other infrastructure that Iraqi towns and communities rely on for subsistence.

The United States is right to intervene in Iraq to provide humanitarian assistance to persecuted religious minorities—including the Yazidis currently surrounded by ISIS forces in northern Iraq and Iraqi Christians, who have been brutalized as ISIS has swept through their villages, massacring thousands and conducting forced conversions of those they do not kill.

But America’s security interests extend well beyond the fate of Iraq’s religious minorities. Because ISIS, with thousands of foreign fighters, many of them from the West, will not rest once it has taken Erbil or Baghdad. Its expansionist ideology will lead it to attack U.S. allies in the region and eventually Europe and the United States.

We have seen time and again in recent decades that terrorist groups, once established, use safe havens to launch attacks on the United States and our interests. We ignore this history at our own peril.

Instead of confronting this challenge head on, President Obama has until now avoided taking decisive action. He has let the civil war in Syria simmer for years, creating the space for this jihadist threat to grow and letting instability spread to Syria’s neighbors. Even after ISIS captured Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, in June, the President was hesitant in his response, sending several hundred military advisors but not confronting ISIS directly even as it made military gains. Now, we are rightfully providing food and water to people who face slaughter from extremists who have pledged to kill them.

Given the threat that ISIS poses to not just the central Iraqi government in Baghdad, but also to our Kurdish partners in northern Iraq, the President was right to begin to strike ISIS targets. We also need to strike supply routes from Syria, leadership, and frontline military units from the air. We should target the oil refinery in Syria they are using to fund their operations. And we should go after other assets and funding networks to deny them the financing they need to carry out their operations.

We need to significantly increase our military and humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi government, as well as the Kurdistan Regional Government. Baghdad has in recent days taken action to assist the Kurds with air support, providing some hope that a political settlement that unites all Iraqi political factions remains possible.

The Kurds in particular need urgent U.S. assistance, including weaponry and training for their peshmerga forces that are now facing an adversary equipped with more advanced weaponry, some of it of U.S. origin stolen from the Iraqi military. The Kurds are also hosting more than a million refugees from other parts of Iraq and Syria that have fled their villages in the face of ISIS’s advance. Due to ongoing disputes between Erbil and Baghdad, the Kurdish government has limited resources to continue to provide for these refugees and for their own people.

President Obama rightly stated that he decided to use military force to protect U.S. diplomats and military personnel in Iraq. But this should not be our only goal.

ISIS’s continued rise is not just a problem for Iraq or its neighbors. If we do not continue to take decisive action against ISIS now, it will be not just Iraqis or Syrians who continue to suffer, it will likely be Americans, as a result of a terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland or on our personnel overseas. America was faced with the same choice President Clinton faced in the 1990s during the emergence of al Qaeda: take action now, or we will be forced to take action in the future.

It is time to begin reversing this unprecedented tide of jihadist victories. America’s security and the safety of the American people are at stake.

Marco Rubio, who represents Florida in the U.S. Senate, is a member of the Senate’s Foreign Relations and Select Intelligence Committees.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #35 on: September 15, 2014, 08:31:07 AM »

This man expresses love for country more eloquently than the current occupant of the White House...

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/387897/our-star-spangled-banner-marco-rubio

SEPTEMBER 13, 2014 4:00 AM
Our Star-Spangled Banner
Two hundred years after the Battle of Baltimore, the flag still gives us chills.
By Marco Rubio

My father took me to my first Miami Dolphins game in 1977, and I remember looking up at him as we stood to sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” Just as it is today, Miami back then was a city of enormous diversity, with many people like my father who had come from other nations and had their lives changed by America.

In that crowd, you could have found some people who loved salsa and merengue and others who preferred R&B. I’m sure some were even (inexplicably, I might add) fans of the Bee Gees and other disco acts of the ’70s. But in that moment, all of us there, representing every background imaginable, were united by our appreciation and respect for our national anthem. Through this song, we became “out of many, one.”

I’ve been to numerous sporting events since then — from the NFL to the MLB to peewee football — where our national anthem is sung before the competition begins. I’ve also watched on TV some of the most unforgettable renditions, including Whitney Houston’s powerful Super Bowl performance in 1991 and Marvin Gaye’s famous version at the NBA All-Star Game in 1983. And every time, as I look around the audience and see Americans standing with their caps removed, it still gives me chills.

In those moments, no one cares whether the people to their left or right are Republicans or Democrats, immigrants or native-born. No one even minds if they’re fans of the opposing team.

Instead, we’re reminded that we’re all Americans. We’re all proud of our heritage, grateful to those who died to ensure our freedom, and forever indebted to those who continue that fight today.

Our national anthem is a stirring reminder of our solidarity as a people. So as we mark the 200th anniversary of Francis Scott Key’s penning of “The Star Spangled Banner,” let us take this chance to reflect on the history and promise of our nation — on how the things that divide us as individuals will never be more powerful that what unites us as Americans.
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ccp
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« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2014, 07:43:05 PM »

Rubio makes argument for robust military
3249
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By Jesse Byrnes - 09/17/14 05:49 PM EDT
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called Wednesday for the United States to return to a Reagan-era U.S. military by greatly increasing its spending at the Pentagon.

Rubio said that the U.S. spends more than double on Social Security and Medicare benefits than it does on defense, and called for lawmakers to address those spending issues so that more money can be funneled to the nation’s defense.

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The possible 2016 White House contender sharply criticized President Obama’s defense and foreign affairs policies, noting that defense spending has fallen 21 percent since 2010 when adjusted for inflation, and 12 percent if the troop drawdowns in Iraq and Afghanistan are considered.
Drawing from recommendations by the National Defense Panel, Rubio called for the U.S. to up the Navy’s current 289 ships to 323, support the Air Force's F-35 program, reverse the plan reducing the Army and Marine Corps to pre-9/11 levels, rebuild intelligence capabilities and tackle veteran health care, personnel recruitment and military pension reform.

“The world needs American strength just as much as our people and our economy do,” Rubio said in a Washington address. “No other nation can deter global conflict by its presence alone.

“We must be prepared for threats wherever they arise, because our nation is never isolated from the world,” added Rubio, who in a Washington Post op-ed last week argued the “isolationism” of Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, another possible 2016 contender, put American lives at risk.

“Waiting for our adversaries to unclench their fists so we can shake their hands has not proven a responsible or effective strategy,” said Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence panels.

The event was hosted by the John Hay Initiative along with Concerned Veterans for America and the Heritage Foundation and American Enterprise Institute's Project for the Common Defense.

The increased focus on danger posed by fighters with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as well as the dynamics of the upcoming 2016 presidential elections, offer good political timing for Rubio's speech, said former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), a member of the defense project.

Aside from maybe Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) who has talked about foreign policy for a long time, Rubio, if he decided to run, leads the pack of 2016 Republican contenders in terms of foreign policy, Talent told The Hill.

 

 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2014, 11:51:17 PM »

I don't know if it is a political winner or not, but he is right.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #38 on: September 23, 2014, 10:41:13 AM »

See WSJ today, someone please post.
-----------------------------------------

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2014/09/23/from-two-republican-senators-a-new-kind-of-tax-reform/

From two Republican senators, a new kind of tax reform
 
By Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post

Part of the GOP’s time warp problem — it’s always 1981 — has been making tax reform synonymous with lowering marginal tax rates. But as conservative reformer Robert Stein puts it, “Too often, advocates of comprehensive tax reform have focused on the particular means of Reagan’s plan — the lowering of marginal income-tax rates — rather than on its more general ends: correcting economic distortions caused by government policy, lightening the tax burden on American families, and encouraging more work and investment.” He continues: “Lowering tax rates today could still enhance the incentives to invest, particularly in the corporate sector. But the distortions caused by marginal tax rates are not nearly as great as they were in 1980. And attempts to solve other problems caused by the tax code itself — like the biases in favor of consumption over saving, or home building over business investment — could never in themselves garner the public support necessary for a major overhaul.” Moreover, this tends to underestimate the impact of other reforms in generating economic growth — immigration, regulatory reform, trade policy and energy policy.

Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have adopted a new conservative tax approach, one that is more ambitious but also focused on wider social goals. They write that “it bears remembering that the end goal of economic policy isn’t simply growth, but freedom—clearing the obstacles from each American’s unique pursuit of happiness.” In other words, it aims to increase family income, lessen the cost of parenting, promote work and spur growth.

It’s basic components include an enhanced child tax credit of $2500, expansion and reform of the earned income tax credit and corporate tax reform to promote investment and growth in the U.S.:

On the business side, we would cut the current 35% corporate tax rate to make it competitive in the global economy. The exact rate will be determined as we continue to shape the legislation, but it must be low enough to end the problem of corporate inversions and the loss of American jobs to other nations. We will also allow companies large and small to deduct their expenses and capital investments while integrating all forms of business taxation into a consolidated, single-layer tax. . . .

We will also propose that businesses only be taxed in the country where income is actually earned, rather than double-taxed when the money is brought back home. The way to reverse corporate inversions and bring capital in off the sidelines isn’t to punish companies for obeying outmoded laws, but to change those laws to make America once again the best place in the world to pursue happiness and earn success.

The senators also want to go after “cronyist giveaways” in the tax code.

Reform conservatives have tended to be too defensive about the family-friendly provision. The senators are right: It’s good social policy; not every tax change has to be about cutting rates. (Minus the Obamacare tax add-on the top marginal rate would go back to 35 percent.) There are ample pro-growth items to satisfy supply-siders and address real problems of American uncompetitiveness.

A senior aide to Lee concedes it has not yet been scored for revenue neutrality and not all specifics are finalized, but this is a policy proposal, not a bill. He does confirm that most deductions on both individual and business side will either be gone or reformed. Lee’s individual side reform gets rid of all of the individual deductions except charitable giving and a capped mortgage interest deduction. That is certainly consistent with a broader tax base at a modest rate. Backers of the concept like Stein estimate that “under the proposal, a married couple with two children earning $70,000 would get a tax cut of roughly $5,000 per year compared to current law. ” That is better policy and better politics than say a flat-tax, which would almost certainly be more regressive than the current code.

The plan is conservative in the best sense of the word. It tries to accommodate competing aims, not zealously strive for one goal at the expense of others. It protects the most important elements of civil society (thereby insuring modest government and vibrant voluntary associations) — the family and charitable entities. It reduces cronyism and other barriers to free market success. And it strengthens the work ethic and upward mobility.

It is a serious plan worth studying and a challenge both to Democrats whose idea of tax reform is simply raising taxes on the rich and to single-minded supply siders whose ideas don’t attract much support outside staunch conservative bastions and Big Business. If you are going to change the image and focus of the party, this would sure be one way to do it.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2014, 11:24:59 AM »

Being labeled Neocon and having former Bush officials advise you has high political risk for both the primary and the general election, but I don't believe his views are politically motivated.  Not just interventions, but preparedness is going to be a big issue. 
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http://www.nationalreview.com/article/389598/neocons-return-eliana-johnson

The neocons are back. That is, at least in Marco Rubio’s world. The Florida senator and potential 2016 presidential candidate has, since his election in 2010, regularly consulted with and sought the advice of top neoconservative writers and policymakers, several of whom served in the administration of George W. Bush.

His loose circle of advisers includes former national-security adviser Stephen Hadley, former deputy national-security adviser Elliott Abrams, Brookings Institution scholar and former Reagan-administration aide Robert Kagan, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, and former Missouri senator Jim Talent.
 
To this group, beating back the rising tide of non-interventionism in the Republican party is a top priority, and they consider Rubio a candidate, if not the candidate, capable of doing so. “I think it’s very important that any isolationist arguments be defeated well and be defeated early,” says a neoconservative foreign-policy expert who talks with Rubio frequently.
Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, a war in Israel, and the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria have in the course of a few months made the American public, and especially Republican-primary voters, more hawkish. Some argue that these events have dimmed the prospects that Kentucky senator Rand Paul, who has carved out a niche for himself as the leading non-interventionist in the Republican party, could seize the nomination. Unquestionably, the crises have boosted Rubio’s stock.

“We’re in an international crisis of really significant proportions, the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades,” says the Brookings Institution’s Kagan. “We’ve all been very sympathetic to people worried about going crosswise with the Republican base, but I really think we’re past that. From my perspective, I’m only going to be interested in people who are willing to say the hard things.” For Kagan, that includes arguing for an increase in the defense budget and being frank both about the need to use force when necessary and about America’s role as the world’s preeminent power.

But it’s not just current events that have drawn serious foreign-policy thinkers to Rubio. Since his election four years ago, the first-term senator has consistently articulated a robust internationalist position closest to that of George W. Bush. His outside advisers say he impressed them from the beginning as somebody who took foreign affairs seriously; since then he has built up a record of accomplishment during his four years in the Senate, where he serves on the foreign-relations and intelligence committees.

The experts I spoke with made it clear they have not signed up with Rubio, and nearly all speak with, and speak highly of, other potential candidates. But it is Rubio who garners their highest praise.

“From very early on he was clearly someone who was deciding to take foreign policy seriously,” says Kagan, “I thought he spoke remarkably intelligently.”

Elliott Abrams first spoke with Rubio when he was running for the Senate in 2010. “We had a mutual friend who said to me, ‘He has no experience in the Middle East, but obviously it’s a big issue in Florida, would you be willing to talk to him?’” Abrams says. “We got on the phone, and he said, ‘Let’s do it this way: Let me tell you what I think about the Middle East, and then you tell me what I’ve left out that’s important and what I’ve got wrong.’” Rubio, Abrams says, didn’t have anything wrong. “I was really impressed,” he tells me. “I don’t think there are very many state politicians who could have, off the cuff, done a six-or-seven minute riff on the Middle East.”

Rubio’s disciplined and methodical approach to foreign policy — he has articulated his views over the past two years in several speeches around the world — presents a stark contrast, say multiple foreign-policy experts, to that of his tea-party colleague Ted Cruz. A Cruz adviser last week told National Journal that the Texas senator will almost certainly mount a presidential bid in 2016 and plans to run on a “foreign-policy platform.”

“Whereas Rubio clearly has some views that he has considered and articulated, my sense of Cruz is that he is much less formed by conviction,” says one foreign-policy expert who has met with both potential candidates. “His background was really more on the domestic side.”

Cruz has repeatedly said he embraces a Reaganite foreign policy. He made headlines in recent weeks for walking out of an event when a group of Arab Christians booed his vocal defense of Israel, and he has used his seat on the Armed Services Committee to travel abroad during his time in office. But those I spoke with were, across the board, unimpressed. They universally characterized his worldview as shallow, opportunistic, and ever shifting to where he perceives the base of the party to be.

A former senior Bush administration defense official criticized the Texas senator in particular for his failure, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, to advocate for raising the defense budget. “He’s basically not done anything that I’m aware of to put an end to the hemorrhaging in the Defense Department, so it rings a little hollow,” he says. “It’s one thing to posture, it’s another thing to have a consistent policy. That doesn’t mean he couldn’t develop one. I don’t want to write him up as a lost cause, but he has a long way to go before he could be considered on the same bar as Rubio, considered to have a coherent world view.”

Over the summer, Rubio was briefed on the findings of the National Defense Panel, led by former Missouri senator Jim Talent and former undersecretary of defense for policy Eric Edelman, and the senator used a major speech last month to sound the alarm about the recent cuts to the defense budget and argue for ramping it back up.

Kagan — the preeminent neoconservative scholar and author who made headlines when President Obama improbably cited his article on “The Myth of American Decline,” and again when his cover story for The New Republic critiquing Obama’s foreign policy zipped through the West Wing — has had a major influence on Rubio’s worldview.

The former adviser to politicians from Jack Kemp to Mitt Romney to Hillary Clinton says he spoke with Rubio on and off during his first two years in office, and Rubio cited Kagan’s 2012 book The World America Made in his remarks at the Brookings Institution later that year. In the book, Kagan argues that world orders are transient, and that the world order that has been shaped by the United States since the end of World War II — defined by freedom, democracy, and capitalism — will crumble if American power wanes. But he also posits that the modern world order rests not on America’s cherished ideals — respect for individual rights and human dignity — but on economic and military power, and that its preservation requires bolstering America’s hard power. 

Rubio has echoed that view over the past two years. “We should start by acknowledging the fact that a strong and engaged America has been a force of tremendous good in the world,” Rubio said in Washington, D.C., last year. “This can be done easily by imagining the sort of world we would live in today had America sat out the 20th century.” He pushed back in December last year, in a speech he gave in London about the lasting importance of the transatlantic alliance, on those he described as “weary from decades of global engagement.” In Seoul, South Korea, a month later, he lamented that many in Congress are “increasingly skeptical about why America needs to remain so active in international affairs.”

Rubio’s views are strikingly similar to those that guided George W. Bush as he began navigating the post-9/11 world. “Foreign policy is domestic policy,” Rubio told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute in November of last year. “When liberty is denied and economic desperation take root, it affects us here at home. It breeds radicalism and terror. It drives illegal immigration. It leads to humanitarian crises that we are compelled to address.” It was Bush who in his 2002 National Security Strategy argued that “the distinction between domestic and foreign affairs is increasingly diminishing,” because “events beyond America’s borders have a greater impact inside them.”

The key difference, according to Kagan, is that Bush, who campaigned in 2000 on a platform of scaling back American involvement in the world, “had a revelation after September 11,” whereas Rubio comes by his position more organically.

However unfairly, Bush’s approach to foreign affairs has become inextricably associated with the invasion of Iraq, and few Republicans are willing to stand wholeheartedly behind it anymore. I asked a Rubio aide if the senator fears associating himself too closely with the Bush clan or with Bush’s foreign policy, and whether Rubio might be making himself vulnerable to an attack that a Rubio presidency would be George W. Bush’s third term. No, the aide replies, adding that “a lot of the foreign-policy issues that the next president is going to deal with are different than they were 20 years ago.”

Regardless, Rubio may indeed become vulnerable to the charge that he is another neocon like Bush, surrounded by some of the same people and informed by essentially the same views.

The day when Republican-primary voters go to the polls is still a long way off, but it feels as if a number of conservative foreign-policy thinkers have already cast their vote. 

— Eliana Johnson is Washington editor of National Review.
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