Why I’m voting for Marco Rubio

AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin

AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin

Georgia’s presidential primary is here, and a large GOP field is down to three legitimate candidates: Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Marco Rubio.

Why didn’t I mention the front-runner? Because, for me, the race is down to one question: Who can beat Donald Trump now and Hillary Clinton later?

The answer, for me, is Marco Rubio. I will happily vote for him Tuesday in the hope he can derail Trump and then defeat Hillary.

Like Rubio, Cruz and Kasich are conservatives who, I am convinced, would govern conservatively. I would count on any of them to push the right priorities as president (although I question Cruz’s ability to deliver those priorities, given his track record in the Senate).

But the calculus for me is this: I think Cruz could beat Trump but not Clinton. I think Kasich could beat Clinton but not Trump. I think Rubio could beat both. This year, that’s all I need.

For a conservative, beating Clinton is an obvious enough priority. After eight years of Barack Obama, the country needs a president who will rein in his overreaches as an executive, take the governor off the engine of the economy, and restore credibility overseas among our allies and enemies alike. But let me explain why defeating Trump is so important.

Trump leads the pack for several reasons, but these two strike me as paramount: He speaks to issues that deeply affect a large segment of the population but which Republicans have ignored or paid lip service for a long time, and he has seized on the real, justified anger many Americans have toward a governing class in Washington that is rotten across the political spectrum.

The GOP has no excuse. Conservative thinkers have spent a great deal of time crafting policy ideas that are pro-work, pro-family and would benefit the same people gravitating to Trump. But too few elected Republicans have pursued these ideas. You can blame the fact a Democrat is president, but congressional Republicans have not so much as sent such measures to Obama’s desk.

That said, Trump has shown no sign of embracing these — or even un-conservative — policies. He has shown no sign he actually knows how to solve these problems.

He has built his campaign on a foundation of real problems, but the rest of the edifice consists of exaggerations, outright falsehoods and scapegoats, topped with his name in gold plating, as if that’s a plan. No explaining what he would do or how he’d do it. This is akin to the blueprint past demagogues and charlatans have used, often to tragic effect.

If Trump built his casinos and condos so recklessly, he’d never get a permit to open them — unless he called in favors from politicians to whom he’d donated. Which he has, more generally, admitted doing over the years. Which means he’s been fouling the very stables he now says he’d clean out.

If you find yourself rebelling against the rotten establishment, you might ask yourself why Trump spent so much of his life contributing to the rot. And why he’d change now.

By contrast, Cruz and Rubio weren’t even in Washington six years ago and won their seats by battling against the same-old, hand-picked establishment types. The notion either man has been part of this long-growing problem, to even a fraction of the extent Trump has, is absurd.

So, stopping Trump is critical if you really want to fix what ails Washington. The evidence to date suggests Rubio is better-positioned than Cruz to do that (see here for one detailed explanation of the daunting delegate math Cruz faces). If he can, the polls show he is clearly better-positioned than Cruz to win in November, in largest part because his message is more optimistic, more forward-looking, more inclusive. In a campaign defined by the notion America needs to win again, Rubio is the best shot we have at a winner.

Reader Comments 0

133 comments
sliderule
sliderule

Mr. Robio is a gifted orator and delivers his talking points.  His lack of accomplishment on any issue except the pro-immigration bill in the Senate and his funding by Silicon valley billionaires leads some to believe he is a parrot for those people.  Just today, some interesting tidbits on Marco Rubio are coming out.  Fox news collaboration to benefit Sen. Rubio.  Fired Disney workers blame Rubio.  ICE officials blame Rubio for the Gang of eight disaster of a bill.  


Can you name anything positive he has accomplished?

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@sliderule

A parrot fro Silicon valley billionaires?  In your estimation, would it be preferable to be a parrot for Wall Street biliionaires?  How much has he made giving speeches to Wall Street banks?

Ralph-25
Ralph-25

I love to see a poorly informed right winger throw his vote away. 

Mick11
Mick11

Rubio?  Hillary would smoke him like a Cuban cigar...total light weight and zero point zero gravitas... 

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

You would vote for Hillary even with an indictment for obstructing justice and illegally keeping top secret information on her home brew server. Your objectivity just miiiiiight be questionable.

Caius
Caius

@LilBarryBailout Just for the record, what indictment? I am unaware of any and to date she personally is not being investigated.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Caius @LilBarryBailout

You'll have to show us where I said there is an indictment.

And to claim she isn't being investigated just tells us that you're either ignorant of the facts or a toady.

UICG
UICG

"Like Rubio, Cruz and Kasich are conservatives who, I am convinced, would govern conservatively." 

Kyle, what does governing conservatively mean....does it mean taking the second gov't surplus in my lifetime and turning it into a huge deficit, does it mean telling 4000 kids to die in vain, does it mean running up a $2T tab for a war based on lies, does it mean exacerbating the income divide in this country?  I only ask because that's what the last conservative did.  I'm guessing you'd like a repeat of that fiasco?  Please respond that it'll be different this time.  W wasn't a conservative, but the next guy we put up there will be.          

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

I don't know what your political beliefs are, but you've got the Idiotarian Left's talking points down pat.

Our President Bush wasn't perfect, but he did some difficult things that needed doing, and had to keep making progress even when the polling numbers dropped and the Dems cut and ran.

Hopefully we can get a Real American back in our White House. We'll take our country back and undo Obama's executive orders and most of his mistakes.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Income inequality is far worse on Obama's watch. I guess that means he screwed the middle and lower classes even harder than did Our President Reagan, eh?

jamesatl
jamesatl

@Starik @Mr_B @Lil_Barry_Bailout Yes, they do. Consider conscientious objectors, the Canadian expats, not to mention the thousands of others who chose to serve in other capacities or find other ways to avoid having to go to Viet Nam.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@UICG @Lil_Barry_Bailout

Sorry, you already gave the game away when you repeated the talking point about the Iraq war being based on lies.

And when you're ready to balance the budget again, you might recall that Obama ratcheted spending up by about $1 trillion a year, which is more than this year's deficit.  Also remember that every deficit Obama has run is bigger than any deficit Our President Bush ran, and yes, that's true even when including all the off-budget items.

Caius
Caius

@UICG As a reminder the President does not set taxes or determine spending, that is the Constitutional responsibility of Congress. If taxes, spending, deficits and debts are your problem consider sending a new congressman and senator to Washington this year. Changing presidents

is not going to help you much, as the last few presidents have shown.

Mr_B
Mr_B

@Lil_Barry_Bailout OK , I'll bite. Just which "difficult things that needed doing," did W accomplish?

khcdec
khcdec

@Lil_Barry_Bailout most repubs work the oligarchy; only some of dems do....and while st. ronnie did some good things he accelerated decline of middle class by letting his henchmen screw over mainstreet

UICG
UICG

@Lil_Barry_Bailout They aren't talking points; that is just what happened.  Every president makes mistakes, it's just that W made more than any other in my lifetime, and his mistakes have cost this country it's stature in the world and my kids and their kids will be forced to pay for those mistakes.  As George Will said, the Iraq invasion was he worst foreign policy blunder in U.S. history.

UICG
UICG

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @UICG I guess you are assuming a $15T economy turns on a dime.   When W started he had a surplus.  Then he did the equivalent of telling his wife to quit working (cut taxes) while they went out and bought a bigger house (new war spending) and new cars (Medicare prescription) program. The deficit has come down every year since 2009, but it is a slow process.  

BigBillBounceback
BigBillBounceback

The guy who wants to give a free pass to 10 million illegals will never win..

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

So you aren't really voting FOR someone, but voting AGAINST those he might run against?!  Pretty sad commentary on the GOP.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Having to choose between a lying felon and a socialist isn't sad?

So sorry for your saddy-sadz.

ATLAquarius
ATLAquarius

Well I guess that's better than Gingrich...you're not living that one down...the real question is when Trump wins the nomination will you vote for him or sit out?

The Real Atlantan
The Real Atlantan

You will be disabused of that after Super Tuesday Kyle. No wins for Rubio in any state. 

HotDawg
HotDawg

Kyle, will you push aside your pride and vote for Trump in the general election?

Hit the brakes on Hillary!

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Jared Taylor, the editor of American Renaissance, a white-nationalist magazine and Web site based in Oakton, Virginia, told me, in regard to Trump, “I’m sure he would repudiate any association with people like me, but his support comes from people who are more like me than he might like to admit.”



http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/08/31/the-fearful-and-the-frustrated


The New Yorker nailed this awhile back but will be curious to see if Trumps refusal to disavow the KKK today will have any legs.


Deportation being the issue that really got his campaign going.


White Nationalism to a degree has been the momentum behind his rise. 

vmstewart
vmstewart

@Hedley_Lammar  Many White Men are fed up with the cuckservatives and neo-cohens that run the Republican party.  They are also sick of the pundits who cheerlead for the globalists and wars in the middle east.  (((Wealthy donors))) control things by paying off their puppets in government.  That is why so many people are mad at Trump.  They are scared that their agenda is being exposed to a wider audience.  More people than ever know what is going on and what the end game is.  The controlled media are shown to be shills and liars and many of these losers are in a panic that things are about to change.   

jamesatl
jamesatl

@vmstewart @Hedley_Lammar There's some truth in that. Reform has been a long time coming. Politics as usual has been a festering problem for a ridiculously long time. The lid was bound to blow off eventually. Now that the security of the status quo is being called directly to question and folks just aren't buying it anymore the establishment types from and party to the beltway are starting to get nervous. Good.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

There's no Medicaid tax. It's 100% freebie.


LBB is an important reminder of what is wrong with today's Republican party. 


And why Sanders campaign was so important.


The GOP has folks like him convinced that the problem is the poor minority fellow. The guy probably working construction or at Wal-Mart for 9 bucks an hour. People who are paid so poorly with so few benefits that most months there isn't enough to even put food on the table. That guy working jobs most of us wouldn't want to do. That guy working weekends and probably two jobs just to try and make ends meet. That guy is the enemy.


Meanwhile all the wealth in this country continues to race to the top at unprecedented rates. We know this. Even they wont dispute those facts as they would climate change. There is the real problem. The game is rigged.


You want entitlement reform ? Well that cant and wont happen with the levels of income inequality we see today. 



Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Hedley_Lammar

The enemy is the guy whose economic and fiscal policies have produced the weakest economic recovery ever, while importing and legitimizing low wage workers who push down wages and take jobs from the construction worker, the landscaper, the restaurant worker, the factory worker.

Obama and his fellow travelers are indeed working hard to transform the country from the most prosperous and most powerful to something far, far less.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Our President Bush handed Obama a recovery and fixed the banking mess via TARP. The recession ended in June 2009 and Obama's policies have put the brakes on the economy since then. Worst recovery ever.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

I guess Sanders can take his Socialism right back to the deep blue states. South Carolinians (and soon, a bunch of others) have made it plain that Real America doesn't need it.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Nonsense. Simple logic tells us that if the takers were the majority in a state, they would elect people who would, for example, expand Medicaid.

The takers are a larger percentage in southern states than northern ones, just not enough to flip them to blue.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@LilBarryBailout Those same blue states prop up the red ones with federal dollars that pour into the poor rural South.


Heck it took the Govt to bring electricity to the South.

lvg
lvg

The jersey gangsta and the NY mobster/real estate tycoon are going to steam roll Rubio so bad he will forget all his talking points.

jamesatl
jamesatl

@lvg Marco has a lot on the line here. He has to win or make peace with Trump because he's basically out of a job if he doesn't.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

Well you have to get 20% in Georgia to get any delegates.  I hate that to influence my vote, but unless some polls indicate something different, that pretty much rules out Kasich (and Carson) who is sitting around 8%.  Otherwise, I'm just giving more delegates to Donald.

MarkVV
MarkVV

Although an outsider on the subject (I would not vote for any of the Republican candidates, although I would not be scared of Kasich’s (improbable) presidency), I still find it interesting to try to understand the “Trump phenomenon.” And doing that I am not surprised by the threat Trump represents to many Republicans, especially those usually called “establishment Republicans.” But I do not think it is merely the fear of him being nominated and losing the election. I think a great deal of it is a fear of what would happen if he won the election.

I think the main problem for the Republicans is Trump’s unpredictability. While his supporters obviously believe that he would solve all the problems of the country because he says so, the establishment Republicans apparently have no idea what he would do as President. His babbling when it comes to the specifics of issues usually makes little sense. But one should ask: How can someone who is unable to answer rationally questions in a political debate be such a successful businessman? What would Trump really do if elected? It raises the scary (for Republicans) prospect that Trump might indeed take advice from good experts, including those in the military, and make the best possible deals with the Democrats as well as with the other countries rather than to insist on conservative ideological purity.

Yes, the establishment Republicans have a lot at stake and to worry about. 

Starik
Starik

@MarkVV I agree with you. I wish I could be sure that Trump as President would be a deal-maker rather than a lunatic; I might even vote for him.