By “cantenuccio4” at Red State
After watching (last Saturday’s) debate I finally came to a realization about Sen. Rubio – I don’t like him very much.
Even from the start, when I supported him, there was just something about him that rubbed me the wrong way, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. So I ignored that sense of unease and focused on his good qualities- his eloquence, ability to articulate conservative principles, and dedication to Christian and pro-life values.
But over time that initial sense of unease I had about him started to be vindicated. It was confirmed by various articles I read about him, like this one*, and interviews of him I watched.
I wanted to believe he was ready to be president and that his lack of experience was more than made up for by his intelligence, knowledge of the issues, and character. More than anything, I tried to convince myself of these things because at the time I believed he was the most electable Republican candidate. I actually still believe that, but it’s not nearly as clear-cut as it used to be for me.
I’ve gone from being curious about his campaign, to supporting Rubio for president, to questioning his readiness to lead, to abandoning him for Sen. Cruz, to now strongly disliking him as a candidate and as a person. Here are the events and reasons that caused me to reach this conclusion:
1) When Marco started calling Cruz a liar, it really bothered me, cause it seemed like he was so eager to use that word, and just casually tossed it out there like it didn’t matter at all, like it was personal to him. Now he routinely uses that attack against Cruz, I assume it’s because his advisers have told him if he uses it enough it might stick. Yet he has zero evidence that Cruz has lied about anything, and Cruz hasn’t returned the favor and insulted him that way.
2) The Christie takedown at the NH debate really proved what many people feared about Rubio all along, which is that he’s fine when nobody’s attacking him and he can give speeches, but he’ll wilt under pressure. That’s exactly what happened that night.
Can anyone imagine Reagan or even George W. Bush choking under pressure like that? Well, we don’t have to imagine, all you have to do is go on youtube and watch Reagan’s debates with Carter and Bush’s debates with Gore to see how they handled the best attacks their opponents could hurl at them. You’ll see that they never got flustered and responded calmly but with strength and authority to every attack.
3) What bothers me about Rubio’s attacks on Cruz more than anything is when you combine them with the fact that he simply has refused to attack Trump, even though Trump is a fake conservative and Rubio claims to be the most honest conservative in the race.
Yes, Cruz has attacked Rubio too, and at times he’s allowed himself to get way too deep in the weeds and make it petty, but at least he’s attacked Trump too, and on principle and policy, not personal insults.
A leader isn’t afraid to call out anyone who insults our intelligence and pretends to be something they’re not, as Trump has done from day 1 of this race. That’s why I admired Gov. Perry so much for being the first candidate to call him out, without reservation or fear. He led by example, and the other candidates should learn from him how it’s done.
Rubio hasn’t shown the vision or the courage to do what Perry did, even though he’s had many opportunities to do so. It’s clear he’s afraid of Trump’s counterattack, and if that’s the case, how in the world is he gonna handle attacks from the liberal media and from world leaders like Putin? This should be troubling to all conservatives who want Rubio to be the nominee.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still happily vote for him if he’s the nominee, just for the fact alone that he’s not Donald Trump. But I think Rubio’s using his personal charm and charisma to hide his character flaws, and that might come back to bite him in the general election.
Christie exposed him on that, and at the very least I hope he learned what his flaws are and is working on improving them, cause this is nothing compared to what he’ll have to deal with when running against the Clinton machine and the liberal media behind her.
The bottom line for me is that Rubio just isn’t as likable as he portrays himself to be. According to the article I linked to at the beginning of this diary, behind the scenes, when the cameras are off, he’s a completely different person, often a nervous wreck. It seems to me the people who’ve been raising concerns about his youth and inexperience were right all along.
I believe his life simply hasn’t prepared him for the office of the presidency in ways that great presidents have been prepared. That doesn’t mean he can’t be a good president, but in my eyes it does mean he’s not the ideal candidate for the job, or even the best one. That candidate for me is Ted Cruz.
The truth is, Rubio’s had a pretty easy life. I’ve read many articles about his life growing up and all of the experiences and people who shaped him. He simply hasn’t had to overcome much adversity or deal with personal tragedy.
For example, JFK lost his brother due to a plane crash in WW2, and lost his 2nd son when he died prematurely. He also had to struggle with Addison’s disease and was often tired and agitated from the steroids he was always taking. That’s something most people don’t know about him because he intentionally hid it from the public, fearing it would give people reason to doubt if he could physically withstand the rigors of the office of the presidency.
Another example is Reagan. He had to go through the heartache of a divorce with his first wife. Then he had to deal with the Berkeley protests and other civil unrest due to the Vietnam War as Governor of California. He also challenged a sitting president within his own party in a primary election and nearly beat him, when he did so against President Ford in 1976. All of these things prepared him for the adversity and daily pressure that comes with the job of being president.
Likewise, George W. Bush struggled with alcoholism and the pressure of being the son of a former president, and had to watch as his father was relentlessly attacked by the media and the Clinton campaign in 1992, eventually losing that election.
Contrast this with Sen. Rubio. What adversity has he encountered in his life?
After graduating college he went to law school, and then started his political career as the West Miami City Commissioner. From there he went on to the Florida state legislature, eventually becoming the speaker of the house there. After that he ran for the US Senate and won. Along the way he got married and had four kids.
This all sounds great, right? He lived the American dream, as he so often talks about. But for most people, this dream is filled with nightmares, or at least times of intense hardship, struggle, and tragedy. Based on everything I’ve read, which I outlined here, I couldn’t find a single instance of personal tragedy or hardship Rubio has had to overcome. He’s pretty much had a perfect life.
Any Christian who’s studied the Bible will tell you that it’s through adversity and suffering that character is formed, faith is tested, and beliefs are clarified. What troubles me about Rubio is that he simply hasn’t had to go through these trials and tribulations that so many of us, including many great presidents, have had to go through.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe none of that will matter and he’ll be able to learn from his mistakes and overcome his personal flaws and weaknesses, and rise to the occasion. But at the very least if he becomes the nominee, we should vote for him with our eyes wide open, aware of his strengths and weaknesses.
We already tried giving control of the country to a charismatic first term senator who lacked experience, and we got burned. As Sen Cruz often says, we don’t wanna get burned again. That’s why I’m voting for Sen. Cruz, and I would urge any conservatives still on the fence to do their homework, consider what I’ve outlined in this diary, and make an informed decision. The stakes in this election are too high to not know exactly what we’re getting.
* Cautionary note from “Jerry Mander:” – the article linked to is by McKay Coppins at BuzzFeed. Coppins is a leftist hack and BuzzFeed is part of the incestuous relationship between the Democrats and the media, so take Coppins’ article with a grain of salt, even if it does contain some truths about Rubio.
… and now, in closing …