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Author Topic: Senator Marco Rubio  (Read 21812 times)
ccp
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« Reply #250 on: February 02, 2016, 05:49:34 PM »

Do you think Ryan would be the kind of Senator like Reid - somehow when he is in either the majority or minority seems to get his way?

Or is he going to play nice letting crats run circles around him?

 "In the case of Cruz, he is the one arguing that he is the the 100th most conservative member of the Senate, a great argument in an Iowa GOP caucus, but scary to the middle."

Agreed.  We will see if he is able to talk to anyone in the middle.  Sometimes I listen to the radio heads and think if they are nuts if they think this could sell beyond their fan club.

Who would have ever thought many years ago we would have 2 Ricky Ricardos leading the way to the Rep nomination and the Presidency?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #251 on: February 03, 2016, 09:00:43 PM »

Something I forgot about in the Rubio tax plan.  He eliminates all (federal) capital gains taxes (also all estate taxes).

The reason I forgot is because, like the 10% Cruz flat tax, I don't believe the repeal of capital gains taxes is politically possible.  But if Rubio wins and is unable to eliminate the capital gains tax, that makes room for additional lowering of the other rates.

What I would do with capital gains taxes is simply discount the 'gains' to account for inflation using the government's already established and published 'colas', cost of living adjustments used on other programs.

Incidentally, if the Rubio plan were enacted, it would be a get out of jail free card for me; I would be able to sell everything and be set for life.  Waaaay too good to be true.

Estate taxes are assessed on after tax income after death and that is morally wrong.  (It reminds me of government lawyer Cheryl Mills pilfering Vince Foster's office before the family was even notified of his death.)  Estate taxes will be hard to eliminate but should be made much lower with much higher exclusions.  If you discourage people from creating an estate, you hold back the economy from creating wealth.
---------------------------------------------

Here are the liberal attacks on the Rubio proposal from The Week, NY Magazine and the Dishonest Citizens for Tax Justice:
http://theweek.com/articles/603052/marco-rubio-isnt-second-coming-george-w-bush-hes-much-worse
http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/11/math-on-rubionomics-way-crazier-than-you-think.html
http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2015/11/marco_rubios_tax_plan_gives_top_1_an_average_tax_cut_of_more_than_220000_a_year.php#.VrKkw7IrLIX

"[Rubio's] proposed tax cut amounts to more than three times the size of the Bush tax cuts, with nearly half of it going to the top 5 percent of income-earners. These cuts would produce a revenue shortfall of $6 trillion after 10 years."

("Trump's plan would 'cost' 11 trillion over 10 years.")
("Cruz plan would 'cost' 16 trillion over 10 years.")

Amazing how wrong you can be with static scoring.  Why would you cut taxes on capital if it did not energize employment and economic growth!
---------------------------------

How the Rubio Plan Would Cut Personal Income Taxes:

Reduces the top personal income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, and reduces the number of tax brackets from 7 to 3 (35, 25 and 15 percent).
Eliminates taxes on capital gains and dividends, including the 3.8 percent high-income surtax on investment income that was enacted as part of President Barack Obama’s health care reforms.
Reduces the top tax rate on individual business income to 25 percent.
Replaces standard deduction with a $2,000 per taxpayer (i.e., $4,000 for married couples) refundable tax credit, which phase out between $150,000 and $200,000 for individuals and between $300,000 and $400,000 for couples.
Creates a new, partially refundable child tax credit of up to $2,500 per child on top of the existing $1,000 per-child credit. The new credit is refundable based on rules similar to the current child credit. It phase out at much higher income levels than the current child credit (starting at $150,000 for individuals and $300,000 for couples)
Eliminates the Alternative Minimum Tax, which was designed to ensure that the wealthiest Americans pay at least a minimal amount of tax.
Eliminates the estate tax.
Cuts the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.
Allows for full expensing on new investments, including buildings and land.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 09:14:39 PM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #252 on: February 03, 2016, 09:36:27 PM »

Rick Santorum out, endorses Rubio.  (Among other things, Santorum is known for being strong on defense.  He is not exactly establishment!)
http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/03/politics/rick-santorum-dropping-presidential-bid/index.html

Sen. Tim Scott, conservative black Republican from South Carolina (tea party) endorses Rubio.
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/marco-rubio-snags-south-carolina-sen-tim-scott-s-endorsement-n509541
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/02/03/how-tim-scott-chose-to-endorse-marco-rubio-for-president/
Tim Scott:  .“When I put together a strong position on national defense and foreign policy, coupled with a compassionate attachment for people to alleviate poverty using conservative principles exclusively, Marco Rubio became the only candidate that I honestly believe can do both,”

(Also Rep Trey Gowdy from South Carolina endorsed Rubio; SC is the primary that follows NH.)

Conservative blogger John Hinderaker at Powerline (whose opinion I highly respect) endorsed Rubio:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/01/for-president-marco-rubio.php
In my opinion (Hinderaker), Marco Rubio should be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016. This is why:

1) Rubio is a solid conservative. If elected, Rubio would be the most conservative president since Calvin Coolidge. He is squarely in the tradition of Ronald Reagan’s three-legged stool: foreign policy, the economy and social issues. Of the other Republican contenders, only Ted Cruz might plausibly claim to be more conservative. But Cruz has not been a consistent conservative on foreign policy. On the contrary, early on, he supported Rand Paul’s positions on drones and the National Security Agency. Only when a series of terrorist attacks caused public opinion to shift decisively toward security did Cruz trim his sails.

The knock on Rubio, of course, is immigration. But he has recanted his early support for the Gang of Eight comprehensive reform bill, and his views on immigration are conservative enough to satisfy me. I have taken a hard line on the issue, as regular readers know, and I am comfortable with Rubio’s view of immigration as a national security issue and his determination to enforce the laws, rather than subverting them as Barack Obama has done.

2) Rubio is strongest where it counts. The president–Barack Obama and Donald Trump notwithstanding–does not have plenary authority to dictate policy by issuing executive orders. The one area where the president can wield significant power on the first day of his administration is foreign policy. Marco Rubio is, in my opinion, as knowledgeable about foreign policy as anyone in Washington. I have interviewed him on foreign policy topics numerous times, and the breadth and depth of his knowledge is impressive. He understands not just the obvious hot spots, like the Middle East and Russia; he also has encyclopedic command of issues relating to Asia, including but not limited to China, and Latin America.

Not only is Marco extraordinarily knowledgeable, he is an unabashed advocate for American power and influence. That doesn’t mean war, it means strength, consistency, and fidelity to principle. Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot. Marco Rubio is an heir to that tradition. If you want to restore American influence in the world, Rubio should be your candidate. I can’t think who would even be in second place.

3) Marco will win. I am on record as believing that Hillary Clinton is a horrible candidate who will never be elected president, even if she escapes indictment. But many others disagree with that assessment and consider her a formidable opponent. Let’s not take any chances. Marco Rubio has, I think, the ability, unique in the current crop of Republican candidates, to reach out to the broader electorate and bring new voters into the Republican orbit.

When it comes to economic opportunity, perhaps the key issue in this years election, no one can equal Rubio’s inspiring approach. He makes the virtue of free enterprise real and tangible–something that, one might think, should be easy, but which few politicians achieve. I have seen nothing similar from Chris Christie (whom I also like a lot), Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.

We can all try to guess which candidate will best appeal to unaffiliated young voters. It isn’t a matter of age; Ronald Reagan’s best demographic, after all, was young people. But that was because he refused to accept the conventional wisdom of the moment, silly in retrospect, that America was in decline, and young people should just get used to it. Marco is a lot younger than Reagan was in 1980, but he shares a similarly optimistic message. My experience with my own children and their friends suggests that of the current crop of candidates, Marco is by far the most effective at bringing the conservative message to young voters.

4) Rubio is a good guy. As noted above, I don’t pretend to be a personal friend, but I have spent enough time with Rubio to form a strong impression of his character. In politics, there is a continuum: on one end are those for whom it is all about them and their personal psychodramas. On the other end are those who are in politics because they genuinely want what is best for the country. I think Rubio is about as far on the correct end of that scale as a politician can be.

Beyond that, he is a stable, normal guy. Rubio is almost as knowledgeable about sports as about foreign policy. Fellow Senators tell me that he is well liked and respected in that body, something that can’t be said for all of the Republican contenders. He has a sense of humor and can be self-deprecating. In person, he is unfailingly gracious.

Do these things matter? I think they do. A number of strange, obsessive people have sought the presidency, sometimes successfully. Marco, like Ted Cruz, is very smart. But that is almost incidental. What we most need in a president are judgment and character. My own experience with Rubio, as well as his public record, tells me that he has those qualities.

A final observation: recent years have been very bad for America. It is easy to be pessimistic, even to adopt an apocalyptic view. But who follows a pessimistic leader? No one. Rubio’s vision of America’s future is always positive, always optimistic, always inclusive, never spiteful or divisive. In this, too, he stands in Ronald Reagan’s big shoes. I, for one, would rather cast my lot with Marco Rubio than with any of the other contenders for the presidency. He is our best choice for 2016.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2016, 09:42:02 PM by DougMacG » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #253 on: February 04, 2016, 06:16:58 AM »

Doug,

You bring up THE question for me when you state you don't think a capital gains tax elimination is politically possible.  How far to push or not is the question in Shakespearean terms.

Levin thinks we push for it all and stand firm as though we just need the right message ignoring we may lose it all in so doing, and rhinos are the other extreme who push for nothing and fight a rear guard defensive fight while retreating.

Perhaps you and Rubio are right.  Push for smaller incremental gains and dig in to fight for the long game - like the C(rats) do.
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ccp
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« Reply #254 on: February 04, 2016, 06:42:51 AM »

Quoting the 21st century version of Shakespeare, Joseph Biden, this IS a big "f" deal:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/03/la-opinion-marco-rubio-republican-obama/

if it leads to a big shift in Hispanic voters to Republican.

I wonder how Cruz would do ?   Obviously he won't be approved by the militant La Raza but who cares.

Whoever can garner the Hispanic vote will certainly schlong Hillary.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #255 on: February 04, 2016, 08:30:27 AM »

Quoting the 21st century version of Shakespeare, Joseph Biden, this IS a big "f" deal:

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/03/la-opinion-marco-rubio-republican-obama/

if it leads to a big shift in Hispanic voters to Republican.

I wonder how Cruz would do ?   Obviously he won't be approved by the militant La Raza but who cares.

Whoever can garner the Hispanic vote will certainly schlong Hillary.

My friend of Mexican descent says Rubio is a fake Hispanic.  Couldn't get him to elaborate but it means something like he looks and acts like a white guy, he is a white guy.  (Same for Cruz.)  He won't suddenly win votes of Mexican and Central American Hispanics just for showing up.  However, he speaks fluent Spanish (Cruz doesn't, neither does Hillary's alleged runningmate Julian Castro) and I believe Rubio has a softer edge than other conservatives (like Levin, or Trump or Cruz) and can start from scratch to give them a message of conservative inspiration they aren't hearing anywhere else.  At best, that will effective at the margin, but if you convert 1 out of 20 people, even 1 in 50, that is a huge electoral shift and at some point, like reaching blacks, people in a community realize they have a choice, rather than feel that if you are a group member, young, female, gay, black, urban, Jewish or Hispanic you are expected to vote a certain way.

Cruz did well with Hispanics in Texas.  It is a more conservative place.  Rubio will do well in Texas too in a general election.

Why isn't Christie's putdown, calling Rubio a boy, racist?
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2016/02/03/chris_christie_slams_marco_rubio_the_boy_needs_to_come_out_of_his_bubble.html

Bush and Christie need to go away, with nothing but negatives to offer, and Kasich needs to stay fresh for his VP assignment.  Cruz accusing Carson of getting out makes it harder for Carson to get out.

Want to defeat Trump?  Stop splitting the anti-Trump vote 17 ways.  Cruz and Rubio are viable alternatives.  Rubio possibly passes up Cruz in NH and SC.  We will see.
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ccp
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« Reply #256 on: February 04, 2016, 09:22:36 AM »

 "a fake Hispanic"

What a bit of horse dung!

I suppose if I said he does not salsa around eat rice and beans, have an accent, wear brightly colored outfits I would be a called a bigoted racist pig.

So what does he have to do to prove himself Latino.  What does this guy think?  His name is Italian?  Bottom line your friend is a Dem and if Rubio is not a Dem he is a fake or a traitor.

Tells me it is not about being an American it is about HIS interest group getting more concessions.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #257 on: February 04, 2016, 12:51:34 PM »

 "a fake Hispanic"
What a bit of horse dung!  ...
Bottom line your friend is a Dem and if Rubio is not...


Correct.  (And he is gay, a stronger identifier than being Hispanic.  Still it is good to know that no automatic votes will come from Mexican American Hispanics to a conservative Republican for being Cuban American.  All the votes have to be earned.

He is probably a 6 digit earner.  I told him R's will give him more liberties than Dems.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2016, 02:02:50 PM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #258 on: February 04, 2016, 01:02:30 PM »

"a fake Hispanic"
What a bit of horse dung!  ...
Bottom line your friend is a Dem and if Rubio is not...


Correct.  (And he is gay, a stronger identifier than being Hispanic.  Still it is good to know that no automatic votes will come from Mexican American Hispanics to a conservative Republican for being Cuban American.  All the votes have to be earned.

He is probably a digit earner.  I told him R's will give him more liberties than Dems.

Only leftists are seen as "authentic".
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DougMacG
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« Reply #259 on: February 05, 2016, 02:45:58 PM »

(from Cruz thread)
"I agree with you.  
You tell the 49% you won't get anything if the payers cannot keep and invest most of their money.  Somebody HAS to pay for them.  Also don't you want for yourself or your children to have the opportunity to get wealthy?  Or to be doomed to a life of working for the State?

So how is Marco going to do this?

He seems to understand that you can't lead from the Senate or accomplish anything by winning the GOP but not the general election.  He is the messenger, not the message.  We happen to believe we have facts and reason on our side and I have been saying he is the best at introducing and arguing those ideas with the persuadable.

Look at it this way.  Bernie is the sensation of college kids who have never had the other side of it introduced to them.  Out of those young voters, let's say that half of them are little marching Marxists who aren't going to listen to anything else and half of them are young skulls of mush who went through public and private schools and colleges without hearing anything but leftism.  Over a 4-6 month general election campaign, if Rubio can persuade one in five of just those who really are open minded and mean well, that is a 20 point swing in that group.  If we believe Quinipiac currently at 43-43, he doesn't need quite that many more to win.

Also keep in mind that with Rubio's anti-Castro passion, arguing against statism and socialism is something he has long contemplated and excelled at.

On the other side of it, Bernie has no chance at moving Rubio voters over to socialism.  Our side has already examined that alternative and passed on it.

If Hillary is the nominee, the campaign gets convoluted with all their personal failings as well as with their skill at distraction and changing the subject.   In that case, Rubio has been the most disciplined at staying on message.

The next question is how do you get real change through the Senate which mostly requires 60 votes?  First is to not fire up a backlash against Republicans in the election and second is to start winning the hearts and minds of the people toward the cause and agenda and go past the officeholders to the constituents to bear pressure like Reagan did.  A landslide would be helpful and so are these reports of 0.7% growth with college grads living in parents basements past the age of 30.

This won't be easy.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2016, 02:51:00 PM by DougMacG » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #260 on: February 05, 2016, 03:36:22 PM »

Thanks for the great and rational answer.  No it won't be easy when thes kids keep hearing Bernie promise them free college etc.

Some one has to wake them up and college free or not is not worth a damn if in the end you wind up working for the government controlled state that takes it all anyway.
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G M
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« Reply #261 on: February 05, 2016, 04:44:39 PM »

Thanks for the great and rational answer.  No it won't be easy when thes kids keep hearing Bernie promise them free college etc.

Some one has to wake them up and college free or not is not worth a damn if in the end you wind up working for the government controlled state that takes it all anyway.

Socialism! It will finally work this time!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #262 on: February 06, 2016, 02:45:12 PM »

Bobby Jindal, that establishment juggernaut, has endorsed Marco Rubio.

Jindal would make an obvious choice for Secretary of Energy.  He might be fishing for being VP choice.  He would be on my short list for Sec of State, considered the top of the cabinet from the order of succession chart.

Since we don't have the perfect tax plan yet, this in my mind gives Rubio access to the Jindal tax plan.  I say help pull the wagon.  Jindal says keep your oar in the water pulling with everyone else.

https://www.bobbyjindal.com/policy/tax-reform/

[Jindal] tax plan lowers the tax bracket for every American, and it dramatically simplifies the tax code for every American. To grow the American economy we must reduce our tax burden and make taxes simpler. The plan has only three rates – 2 percent, 10 percent, and 25 percent. Most Americans will be in the 10 percent bracket.

Most Republican plans brag about the idea that they will allow about half of all Americans to pay zero federal taxes... aterrible mistake. Again, most Republican plans do not require the lowest wage earners to pay anything, and some basically require half of Americans to pay zero federal taxes.  We have come to the point in this country where far too many Americans believe that money grows on trees in Washington. They do not seem to get the fact that our government has no money other than what it takes from our citizens. President Obama has nearly doubled our national debt.  We simply must require that every American has some skin in this game. If we have generations of Americans who never pay any taxes, it will be very easy for them to turn a blind eye to absurd government spending and to continue to allow our government to bankrupt our nation.

There is great strength in shared sacrifice. My plan only asks 2 percent from the bottom bracket but that may be the most important 2 percent in the whole plan. It reestablishes the idea that in America everyone is expected to help row the boat. Now some people may have a bigger oar and some smaller but you keep your oar in the water along with everyone else.
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G M
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« Reply #263 on: February 07, 2016, 12:43:31 PM »

http://ace.mu.nu/archives/361394.php

Malfunction.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #264 on: February 07, 2016, 01:04:05 PM »

Of course I get the point about the modules, but OTOH on a human level I can understand that somewhere around your one thousandth coffee clatch, speech, interview, etc.  there come's a point where you have worked out how you want to say what you have to say.

Certainly I do this in my teaching.  I too have lines and "modules" that I use again and again.

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G M
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« Reply #265 on: February 07, 2016, 02:31:48 PM »

Of course I get the point about the modules, but OTOH on a human level I can understand that somewhere around your one thousandth coffee clatch, speech, interview, etc.  there come's a point where you have worked out how you want to say what you have to say.

Certainly I do this in my teaching.  I too have lines and "modules" that I use again and again.



That is a bit different than the debate, where Rubio couldn't help himself.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #266 on: February 07, 2016, 03:01:47 PM »

Fair enough.

Also fair is to note that later in the debate Rubio spoke well and responsively on foreign affairs (and pro-life) a number of times, but probably this will get a lot less attention.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #267 on: February 07, 2016, 09:34:58 PM »

Fair enough.

Also fair is to note that later in the debate Rubio spoke well and responsively on foreign affairs (and pro-life) a number of times, but probably this will get a lot less attention.

Definitely a lousy couple of moments for him, a little bit short of a gaffe.  Interesting response from him this morning on ABC Stephie, he says he is glad they are replaying his message that he wanted repeated, 'Let's dispel with the notion that Pres Obama doesn't know what he's doing...'

BTW, taking down the popularity is a key part of winning this election.

The news reports of it are far worse than the moment and more people see those.

Trump repeats himself all the time and he leads.  Christie's has said he was a federal prosecutor for seven years in the debates at least 19 times.

Like Crafty is saying, we are looking for effective ways to word and express these things to get the message to people.  When we find them, do we want them said once or as often as possible?

Kevin Drum from The Nation says this is the end of a political career, probably a contrary indicator.

In contrast, Trump had 5 or 6 bad moments and 'won' the debate.

This incident draws attention to Rubio though it seems negative, made Christie look like a jerk, leaves an opening for Jeb that likely won't materialize.  Kasich moves up a little, and for Rubio it depends on what happens next.

Saying it so precisely makes it sound important.  Rubio has a delivery that makes what he is saying sound important.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 09:42:52 PM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #268 on: February 07, 2016, 10:03:31 PM »

A more clear point about Obama and inexperience is that he is now a seven-year President, as much experience as is possible, and he is governing the same as day one.  Badly.

Is this a snowplowing competence election or is this a vision, change direction, inspire election?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 10:08:51 PM by DougMacG » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #269 on: February 10, 2016, 09:54:52 AM »

I thought Rubio's comment about his disappointing showing was perfect.  He took full responsibility admitted he believes it was due to the poor debate showing with regards to Christie (ironically who did not benefit from his torpedo of Rubio) and that "it will NOT happen again".

FWIW I loved that answer and feel it is a very good one and he sounded convincing in that he will not make the same mistake twice.

This is exactly one of the traits I am looking for from a President.  Not someone who will blame others, never admit a mistake  and make every excuse that could be dreamed of like Clinton.

I think he will come back strong.   smiley
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DougMacG
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« Reply #270 on: February 10, 2016, 02:39:43 PM »

Thank You CCP, I had not heard that yet, only the results.  He's right.  Had he won in New Hampshire, or this, his strategy would be the same.  He needs to raise his game and sharpen his message from now until the last day of his second term.  )

If he is so good at memorizing, he should have 10 or 12 ways ready of saying that the left is doing this to us intentionally.  Stop them.
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ccp
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« Reply #271 on: February 10, 2016, 02:54:02 PM »

is at high risk.  My nephew who is no longer with Bobby Jindal is I think working with
Carlos Lopez-Cantera for the time being.  I have to check.  There are two Carlos's who are running.  One is labeled a Charlie Crist candidate (we certainly don't need another one of that turncoat).  But the other one is behind the Democrat in the polls:

http://shark-tank.com/2016/02/09/another-charlie-crist-republican-to-run-for-u-s-senate-in-florida/

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #272 on: February 10, 2016, 03:24:43 PM »

Let's take this over to the Congress thread.

BTW I'm hearing the Reps hold on the Senate is not a sure thing?  Let's discuss in the Congress thread.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #273 on: February 10, 2016, 04:06:11 PM »

https://pjmedia.com/diaryofamadvoter/2016/02/10/my-private-marco/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #274 on: Today at 02:29:59 AM »

REENVILLE, S.C.—Sen. Marco Rubio is scrambling here in South Carolina to recover the momentum his once-highflying campaign lost in New Hampshire last weekend, changing his style and message in the run-up to a critical Republican presidential debate Saturday night.

Mr. Rubio, who fell to a disappointing fifth-place finish in the Granite State, is trying to erase an unflattering narrative that he is canned and inaccessible. He schmoozed with reporters during breakfast at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Okatie, S.C., on Thursday, and shared a story about how he had recently cracked a tooth by biting into a frozen Twix candy bar between campaign events.

The Florida senator also is trying to draw sharper contrasts with his rivals for the nomination, after suggesting that he pulled his punches last week. He criticized Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for backing a budget blueprint that sought to slash military spending and businessman Donald Trump for recently employing a lewd slur.

But for a campaign buffeted by deep doubts for the first time, another high-stakes stumble could doom the prospects of his presidential bid.

“We’re past the point of meeting expectations, and at the point where campaigns need to start embracing and beating expectations,” said Kevin Madden, a senior strategist for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 who isn’t backing anyone this year.

Mr. Trump, the New Hampshire winner, and Mr. Cruz, the Iowa victor, are certain to move on to primaries in a string of Southern states on March 1, even if poor showings here were to hobble them.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished second in New Hampshire, hasn’t made a serious effort to win here. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who will also participate in the debate, has vowed to stay in the race, though his campaign has been fading for weeks.

Those dynamics have largely turned the primary here into a fight for survival between Mr. Rubio and his onetime mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has drawn on his family’s deep ties to the state’s Republican establishment and popularity with the rank-and-file to begin drawing crowds at his events. The last poll in the state was taken in January, well before the recent turn of events.


Just a week ago, Mr. Rubio seemed to be the one rising. He came in a surprising third in Iowa and was running second in public polls in New Hampshire before the final debate in Manchester, N.H.

After Mr. Rubio offered a critique of President Barack Obama’s leadership, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie interrupted and accused the senator of being too reliant on lines from his stump speech. Mr. Rubio inadvertently added resonance to the attack by repeating, word-for-word, the same Obama attack line that had prompted the confrontation with Mr. Christie.

On primary night, Mr. Rubio came in fifth behind Mr. Bush, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Kasich and Mr. Trump. Mr. Christie came in sixth and dropped out of the presidential campaign the next day.

In a phone call with donors the next day, Mr. Rubio’s campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, tried to reassure them by noting that South Carolina offered friendly terrain for a recovery.

Two of the most prominent members of the state’s congressional delegation have backed Mr. Rubio—Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Trey Gowdy, who is leading the probe into the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya. Mr. Sullivan also has deep ties in the state, as do the top advisers to outside groups backing Mr. Rubio, and they have spent months building a voter turnout operation.

Mr. Rubio is also trying to sharpen his message. “I am not here to attack another Republican,” he said at a Myrtle Beach rally Thursday, “but you deserve to know that there’s another candidate for president, Ted Cruz, who, the only budget he ever voted for was a budget by Rand Paul that cut defense spending even more than we’re reducing it now.”

Much of Mr. Rubio’s critical rhetoric also was trained on Mr. Trump. “There are certain words you don’t say,” the senator said in Okatie, referring to an incident in which Mr. Trump repeated an audience member’s shout-out that Mr. Cruz was “a pussy.”

“You turn on the TV,“ Mr. Rubio said, ”and you’ve got a leading presidential candidate saying profanity from a stage."

South Carolina party officials say that perspective is likely to resonate in the state.

“Trump has a populism kind of appeal,” said Dan Hamilton, a second-generation state representative from Greenville. “I understand the mentality. But I’m still of the opinion that you want your children to respect their president. That is not a possibility with Trump.”

But it is unclear how far that could carry Mr. Rubio, who has to push past the rest of the field before he can tackle Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump has dismissed the criticism for using a vulgar term on the eve of the New Hampshire primary, telling NBC: “It’s one of the reasons I won.” Mr. Cruz has pointed out that he also backed a measure offered by Mr. Rubio to significantly increase military spending.

In addition, Rubio supporters said they had been optimistic that Gov. Nikki Haley would endorse him the day before the New Hampshire primary and in time to hit the stump on his behalf in South Carolina.

Ms. Haley, in a Wall Street Journal interview, had said she was looking for someone with a positive message who could widen the GOP tent, and Mr. Rubio’s allies were certain she would side with him. But that was before the New Hampshire debate.

Even if Mr. Rubio does well in the Palmetto State, he would likely need a drawn-out nominating contest to have a chance of collecting more delegates than Messrs. Cruz and Trump.

On Wednesday, Mr. Sullivan told the campaign’s top donors to brace themselves for a long slog to the nomination that puts a premium on the arcane process of collecting delegates, according to people on the call.

In order to remain viable, Mr. Rubio will need money and an early accumulation of delegates. A strong South Carolina finish would provide a much-needed boost on both fronts.

When the candidates take the stage in Greenville on Saturday night, Mr. Rubio will meet attacks head on and seek to turn them against any candidates who go after him, something he did against Mr. Bush during a debate last year in Colorado, according to an adviser.

“I think you can point to differences in a respectful way, and that’s what we intend to do,” Mr. Rubio said while dining with reporters.

—Valerie Bauerlein contributed to this article.
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