Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

Birthright citizenship: tough to eliminate

baby citizens

A part of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says this:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.”

It’s clear, yes? Everyone born in this country is a citizen of this country.

Why, then, do some Republicans — maybe most of them — want to amend the Constitution to single out those who have the misfortune of being born to individuals who are here illegally?

GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump wants to end the “birthright citizenship” clause of the 14th Amendment. He’s led the amen chorus on that one. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has joined him.

But as Eric Greider of Texas Monthly points out, some Republican presidential candidates are standing for the Constitution. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is one of them; so is U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida; same for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

What do these men have in common? They all have been elected in states with substantial Latino populations, which of course is the audience being targeted by those who want to repeal birthright citizenship.

If we get rid of this citizenship provision, we will have to amend the Constitution. Don’t conservatives generally stand foursquare behind the nation’s governing document?



The Cold War is over! We won!

President Barack Obama has declared victory, finally, in the on-going Cold War with Marxism.

On Wednesday, he is going to announce the reopening of embassies in Washington and Havana, the capital city of Cuba.


Let the healing continue.

A 50-plus year estrangement with a dirt-poor island nation that has been governed by communists is about to end. Good thing, too. Because Cuba no longer poses a threat to the United States of America, the world’s remaining superpower.

Why? Cuba’s major benefactor, the Soviet Union, vaporized into history more than two decades ago. Russia has re-emerged and while the Russians are strong, they do not pose a worldwide threat to take over the world the way the Soviet Union declared publicly it intended to do.

The Soviets once used Cuban territory as a potential launching pad for offensive missiles. But a steely U.S. president, John F. Kennedy, clamped a quarantine on Cuba, intercepting Soviet ships taking missile parts to the island. The Soviets blinked, took down the missile installations and the threat of nuclear war was averted.

Cuba has languished in poverty during entire regime of the communists.

And yet some Republicans in Congress continue to harp on the idea that Cuba’s human rights record doesn’t entitle it to enjoy full diplomatic relations with the United States. Fine. Then let’s bring our ambassadors home from, say, China, Zimbabwe and Sudan.

At least two leading GOP lawmakers, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, have Cuban ancestry. They also are running for president. They say Cuba must remain estranged from the United States until it cleans up its human-rights act.

Come on, fellas.

Let’s get real.

The time has come to end the Cold War. We’re not going to give the Cubans a pass on whatever human rights abuses they still commit against their citizens.

We are, though, going to restore relations with a neighbor. Perhaps some added exposure to what we enjoy here will rub off on the Cubans.


Rubio takes heat, gives some of it back

Welcome to the national spotlight, young man.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican presidential candidate, is finding out first hand how tough it is to keep some aspects of one’s personal life out of the glare of public view.


It really cannot be done.

The New York Times has published a couple of stories about the senator from Florida. One of them details the number of traffic tickets he and his wife (mostly his wife) have run up in the past 18 years. The other examines the couple’s spending habits.

The stories aren’t exactly flattering. In fact, they’re quite unflattering. Rubio has hit back at the Times over the personal finances story. He wrote an email: “It’s true, I didn’t make over $11 million last year giving speeches to special interests,” Rubio said. “And we don’t have a family foundation that has raised $2 billion from Wall Street and foreign interests.” Those examples appear to be shots at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who’s come under scrutiny herself for the money she has earned since she and her husband, President Bill Clinton, left the White House in 2001.

Personally, I think the traffic-ticket story is overblown. Indeed, if he is elected president in 2016, neither he or his wife will be sitting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle on public streets for at least the next four years. So, what’s the point, right?

As for the financial story, the Rubios reportedly have thrown a good bit of money that Sen. Rubio seem to indicate they don’t have. According to U.S. News & World report: “The Times also said Rubio has handled his personal finances in a manner that ‘experts called imprudent,’ with a low saving rate, substantial debt, buying an $80,000 boat and leasing a $50,000 2015 Audi Q7.” Rubio is going to insist on prudent spending by the government as he campaigns for president. Do as I say and not as I do? Is that it, senator?

Here’s a thought for the Times’s editors to consider: If you’re going to examine the personal spending habits and the portfolios of the candidates, be sure to look at Sen. Bernie Sanders’s account statements carefully. He is the “Democratic socialist” who’s campaigning for the Democratic Party nomination on a platform that seeks to redistribute wealth throughout the country because of what he calls the “obscene” wealth of too few Americans.

As for Rubio and the treatment he’s gotten from the media, there’s much more scrutiny to come.

It goes with the territory.


Rick Perry 2.0 makes another run for White House

Here we go again.

Rick Perry is going to run for president of the United States of America.

The former longest-serving Texas governor in state history hopes for a much better outcome than his first effort, which ended in January 2012 — before the first Republican primary ever took place. He stumbled, bumbled and fumbled badly that first time out. His debate performances were hideous, highlighted by the infamous “oops” moment which he couldn’t name the third of three federal agencies he’d dismantle if he were elected president.


He’s back now.

Ready for action.

He’s changed his look, wearing those eyeglasses.

Perry thinks we need a president who’ll tell them the truth, who’ll lead from the front, who’ll do all the things he says the current administration hasn’t done.

This campaign differs from the first one, however, in another key way. He became an instant frontrunner when he announced his intention to seek the 2012 GOP nomination. Perry enters this race as a distant also-ran in a field headed — for now — by the likes of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; there might be another name or three out there at the front of the pack, but Perry’s name ain’t one of them.

And I haven’t even mentioned, until right now, that he’s the first declared presidential candidate in history to run while under indictment alleging abuse of power. But, hey, that’s another story for another day.

Back when he was running for president in late 2011, I would hear from more than one Texas Panhandle Republican — and believe me, I live in the most GOP-friendly region of this GOP-friendly state — that they hoped he’d become president, but for reasons I didn’t expect to hear.

They wanted Perry to win because they wanted “to get him out of Texas.”

World is better without Saddam, but …

Marco Rubio said that thing that all of us know to be true.

The world, said the U.S. senator from Florida, “is a better place” without Saddam Hussein walking among us. He told Fox News Sunday that President George W. Bush made the right call in invading Iraq in March 2003, even though he acted on intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be faulty.

Presidents, said Rubio — who’s running for president himself — don’t have the benefit of hindsight when they make critical decisions.

Again, true enough, senator.


But here’s the issue, as I see it — and no doubt others will see it differently:

The world would be a better place without a long list of sovereign leaders. Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe comes to mind. So does North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. How about getting rid of Vladimir Putin in Russia? Other countries are ruled by tinhorn dictators and despots.

Is it our place to invade any of those other countries to get rid of evil rulers?

Rubio was standing behind his fellow Floridian, former Gov. Jeb Bush, who (now) famously told Fox’s Megyn Kelly he would have invaded Iraq, too, even with what we now know about the missing WMDs. Bush also, let’s add, is likely to run for president as well as Rubio and a host of other GOP candidates.

The problem with the Iraq War and the precedent it set is that we’ve now laid down a predicate for future efforts to rid the planet of evil men in high places.

The tough economic sanctions we had imposed on Saddam Hussein after the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91 had contained that madman. The invasion was unnecessary, costly and far more troublesome than any of the president’s inner circle led the nation to believe it would be.

Oh, and one more thing: Saddam Hussein had nothing, zero, to do with 9/11.

Is the world better off without Saddam Hussein? Sure it is. Is it a safer place because we got rid of him? Only if you discount the presence of the Islamic State.


Santorum goes to the well once again

Rick Santorum is a puzzle to me.

The former Republican senator from Pennsylvania flamed out in his 2012 bid to become president of the United States, as his party nominated Mitt Romney.

That came after he had lost his U.S. Senate seat to Democrat Bob Casey.

Now he wants to run for president a second time. As the link attached here observes, he’s starting from scratch all over again.


Is it hubris? Is it some desire to hold a public office? Is it a need for acceptance?

Do any or all of those things drive this man to do the seemingly impossible, which is get elected to the world’s most powerful and influential office?

I don’t get it. Nor do I get Sen. Santorum.

The conservative base of his party is being pulled in a number of directions, with Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio already running; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is set to go; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has the Duggar family made famous by the “19 Kids” reality show on his team; Ben Carson has attracted other conservative hired hands, as has Sen. Rand Paul; Carly Fiorina is veering way right, as are Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, both of whom are waiting in the wings.

There seems to be nothing left for Santorum to mine for support.

What drives a politician to get beaten down so many times?


Diversity marks GOP field in 2016

You want diversity in a presidential campaign?

The growing Republican Party field is turning to be as diverse as any I’ve seen in oh, maybe forever.


Carly Fiorina has just announced her candidacy; she’s the first woman in the GOP field.

Ben Carson followed her into the arena later in the day; he’s an African-American neurosurgeon.

Ted Cruz is running; he’s a Cuban-American.

Marco Rubio also is running; he’s also a Cuban-American.

Mike Huckabee is going to run; he’s a former Baptist preacher.

And … what about the Democrats? They’ve got Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I suppose you can say that a card-carrying socialist — Sanders — gives the Democrats a scintilla of diversity.

But the Republican field is looking like a diverse bunch. It’s ethnically diverse. There’s a hint of gender diversity. Occupational diversity is showing up as well. Many of the rest of the expected GOP candidates, though, appear to be run-of-the-mill politicians.

I do like the looks of the GOP field as it’s developing.


No diversity on Democratic bench? C'mon!

The Hill newspaper has a headline that shouts that actual and potential Democratic candidates for president lack “diversity.”

The Democratic “bench” is too, um, bland … or some such thing.

Hold on here.


The trio of mug shots that accompany the news story attached here tell me something quite different.

* Hillary Rodham Clinton is, quite obviously, a woman. She was first lady for eight years from 1993 until 2001. She served in the U.S. Senate and then as secretary of state. Enough said there.

* Jim Webb is a former U.S. senator from Virginia. He’s a Vietnam War veteran. He saw combat as a Marine. He served in the Reagan administration, not exactly a bastion of progressive principles.

* Bernie Sanders is an independent U.S. senator from Vermont. He’s a card-carrying, say-it-loud-and-proud socialist. He makes no bones about his share-the-wealth philosophy.

I won’t mention Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who keeps saying she isn’t running.

Oops. I just did.

Those three individuals look pretty diverse to me. They each bring a different set of governing principles to a presidential campaign.

Only one of them, Clinton, has declared her candidacy. Webb has formed an exploratory committee, while Sanders is keeping his options open.

I get what The Hill means, though, about the lack of “diversity.” It refers to the Republican field that so far has two Hispanic candidates — Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. There well might be a woman, Carly Fiorina, in the mix as well. An African-American, Ben Carson, is likely to run.

Let us not dismiss the potential Democratic primary field as being bland and one-note boring.

Among the possible field of three — Clinton, Webb and Sanders — one can find plenty of ideological diversity.

Rubio is right: Sexual orientation is no 'choice'

Sen. Marco Rubio wants to be president. To do that he’s got to sound reasonable.

The young Florida Republican, by golly, is starting to get some traction on the reasonableness bandwagon.


One’s sexual orientation, he said today on “Face the Nation,” is not a choice. It’s who that person is.

Good call, senator.

He stops short of endorsing gay marriage, though. He believes marriage should be a union involving a man and a woman. He says he favors “traditional” marriage.

I am heartened, though, to understand that he does not buy into the tripe being tossed around that someone states a “preference” for being intimate with someone else. I’ve long believed sexual orientation — whether it’s heterosexual or homosexual — is part of a person’s DNA.

I’m glad to see that Marco Rubio understands it, too.

Now, if we can just get him to change his mind about normalizing relations with Cuba …


Rubio looks forward … except for Cuba

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign launch Monday contained a lot of soaring rhetoric about the need to look forward.

The Florida Republican sounded the right notes, spoke the right words and paid tribute to his own life story, which is an interesting and compelling one.


“While our people and economy are pushing the boundaries of the 21st century, too many of our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century,” Rubio said. “We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are making them.”

Agreed, Sen. Rubio.

However, why are you locked into a 20th-century view of our nation’s relationship with Cuba?

President Obama is trying to breathe life into a bilateral relationship with the island nation that sits just a few miles off the Florida coast. For decades, dating back to the late 1950s, U.S. politicians have trembled in fear — or so it seems — at the prospect that Cuba would become a launching pad for Soviet missiles. Then the Soviet Union vaporized into thin air in 1991. Cuba’s Marxist regime continued on, repressing its people.

The United States maintained its economic embargo against Cuba.

Now the 44th president of the United States is taking a 21st-century view of U.S.-Cuba relations — but Sen. Rubio will have none of it. Rubio, whose parents emigrated from Cuba, said it doesn’t make sense. He calls Cuba an agent of terror.

I’m all ears as it regards Sen. Rubio’s desire to look forward. I am anxious to hear the rest of his message as the 2016 White House campaign gets ramped up.

Let’s start, though, with refining the senator’s view of Cuba.