U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio needs a refresher course on 20th-century American history.
The Florida Republican — quite naturally — was critical the other day of President Obama’s decision to begin normalization of relations with Cuba, a nation with which we’ve had zero diplomatic contact for the past five decades.
Rubio ventured into Fox News Channel’s right-wing echo chamber and declared that Obama is the “worst negotiator since Jimmy Carter.”
I heard that and thought, “What in the world is that young man saying?” Chris Matthews noted correctly that Rubio was 7 years of age when President Carter worked some diplomatic magic.
Worst negotiator, eh?
To the young senator, here’s a bit of history for you to ponder.
President Carter summoned two enemy heads of government to the White House in 1978. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to hammer out a historic peace treaty between the ancient enemies.
They went to Camp David, took off their jackets and ties and worked day and night to agree to a peace treaty. Carter reportedly got along much better with Sadat than he did with Begin. Sadat and Begin couldn’t find their way past their ancient differences, dealing mostly with how their people could live together in places like Gaza.
Finally, after several days in the Maryland mountains, Carter got the two men together and the three of them agreed on a peace treaty that holds up today, nearly four decades later. It’s now known as the Camp David Accords.
The deal ended up costing Sadat his life when Muslim extremists assassinated him during a parade. An Israeli extremist would kill Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin for hammering out a peace deal with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.
For the young Florida Republican senator to suggest Jimmy Carter is a terrible presidential “negotiator” is to ignore the historical record.
Hit the books, senator, before popping off.