Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

Rubio joins growing GOP field for 2016

Marco Rubio is now running for president of the United States.

The freshman Republican U.S. senator from Florida has joined the swelling chorus of GOP voices seeking to take the White House back from those mean ol’ Democrats.


What the Rubio candidacy is beginning to illustrate in even more stark terms is that Republicans are going to face the donnybrook while Democrats appear headed for a coronation of sorts when the parties convene their nominating conventions in the summer of ’16.

Those of us who’ve been around long enough remember when the reverse was true. Democrats carved each other up while Republicans rallied behind the suitable heir apparent.

Not this time.

Rubio joins a GOP primary campaign that already includes fellow Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas. Others — many others, in fact — are waiting in the wings. I keep hearing different numbers, but the roll call of Republican presidential candidates varies between 12 and 25. Hey, the more the merrier.

The Democrats? They’ve got their prohibitive frontrunner, Hillary Rodham Clinton. She has the deep pockets, the organization, the party machinery and some quite favorable poll numbers backing her up.

The Democratic Party is likely to anoint Clinton as its nominee.

The Republican Party is going to engage in a knock-down, drag-out brawl through the winter, into the spring and possibly right up until the GOP convention.

Some of us remember another time, era and set of circumstances that reversed the roles.

This campaign, from my perspective, is going to be much more fun to watch.


Cuba thaw makes perfect sense, Sen. Rubio

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is a Cuban-American cut from the cloth that prevented the United States from establishing a relationship with Cuba.

He’s among a shrinking core of Cuban-Americans — living mainly in Florida — who think of Cuba as a pariah state that poses an imminent danger to the United States of America.

They are wrong. So is the young junior senator from Florida.


Of course, perhaps it is helpful to note that Rubio is likely to run for the Republican Party presidential nomination next year, so he’s got to find as much to criticize the current Democratic administration as he can locate.

I guess Cuba fits the bill.

Well, the overtures that both President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro are making perfect sense in this changing world.

Cuba’s got a horrible human rights record. So do many of the other countries with which we have diplomatic relations. Cuba once was known to have designs on becoming a dominant player in the Western Hemisphere. Those designs were washed away with the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Is Cuba a terrorist haven? Does it sponsor international terrorist organizations?

Come on, Marco. Let’s engage this former enemy and persuade the government in Havana to join us in making life more comfortable for the millions of Cubans who’ve been deprived of economic wellness partly because of a pointless U.S. economic embargo.


Mitt is turning 'mushy,' according to Cruz

Mitt Romney hasn’t even said he’s running for president a third time in 2016 and already he’s taking barbs from his right flank.

The slinger is Sen. Ted Cruz, who says the Republican Party shouldn’t nominate someone from the “mushy middle.” The party needs someone who is, well, a stark conservative like … oh, let me think, Cruz?


But didn’t Mitt say he governed Massachusetts as a “severe conservative” while he was running for president two years ago? Didn’t Mitt try to establish his conservative credentials with the base of his party?

OK, he lost the election in 2012 to President Obama.

I’m still pulling for him to run. I’m also pulling for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to run for president.

Mitt says he’s interested in running; Jeb has formed an exploratory committee and has resigned from every non-profit board on which he’s served.

Mitt vs. Jeb would set up an interesting battle, don’t you think?

Jeb has been critical of Mitt’s myriad business interests. Mitt has been critical of Jeb’s moderate stance on immigration.

Meanwhile, the righties in the party are standing by. Cruz of Texas, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas could make an interesting two-state scramble for the GOP nomination, given that all four of those TEA party favorites hail from either Texas or Florida.

Oh boy! This upcoming Republican campaign looks like a doozy.

I can’t wait to watch it unfold.


Cuba policy change provokes GOP fight

President Obama is picking a fight — between two Republicans who might want to succeed him in the White House.

I love this infighting.

Obama has announced a dramatic change in our nation’s policy toward Cuba. We’re moving toward normalization of relations, you know, with embassies in both countries and ambassadors representing their nation’s interests.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky supports the change; GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida opposes it.

So, what does Paul do? He calls Rubio an “isolationist.” He mentions his colleague by name. He takes direct aim at the young Floridian’s opposition to what Paul thinks is a reasonable and long overdue change.


I happen to agree with Sen. Paul on this one.

He wrote an essay for Time magazine in which he lays out his argument. “The supporters of the embargo against Cuba speak with heated passion but fall strangely silent when asked how trade with Cuba is so different than trade with Russia or China or Vietnam,” Paul wrote. “It is an inconsistent and incoherent position to support trade with other communist countries, but not communist Cuba.”

Rubio is among those “strangely silent” lawmakers who cannot grasp the need for change in the U.S.-Cuba relationship.

Rubio actually baited Paul with a statement he made on Fox News: “Like many people who have been opining, [Paul] has no idea what he’s talking about,” Rubio said. Paul’s op-ed essay in Time was in response largely to what Rubio said.

So the intra-GOP fight has commenced.

Rubio’s own Cuban heritage gives him some credibility on this issue. However, like a lot of politicians who blind when the subject of Cuba comes up, Rubio needs to look at the big picture and understand what Barack Obama and Rand Paul both get: If a 50-year policy doesn’t produce any positive change, then it’s time to change the policy.


No surprise at GOP balking over Cuba proposal

Imagine my huge surprise that two leading Florida politicians, both Republicans, would be critical of President Obama’s decision to begin normalizing relations with Cuba.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, whose parent fled Cuba to the United States, and former Gov. Jeb Bush, a probable candidate for president in 2016, both have come out against the president’s plan.


I get it. Really, I do.

They’re appealing to their home state political base, which includes a seriously anti-communist Cuban-American community that cannot stomach the thought of their communist former homeland getting any kind of overture from the United States.

OK, I’m just kidding about the surprise.

Obama is going to hear more angst from other Republicans. Some of them are going to openly oppose any effort to end the economic embargo because they, too, are afraid of the party’s base.

The effort got kick started when Cuba released Alan Gross from five years of wrongful imprisonment. In return, the United States sent three Cuban prisoners back to the island nation.

Given that Cuba poses zero threat militarily to the United States and that regular, run-of-the-mill Cubans deserve a chance to see their country improve its economic standing when the U.S. embargo is lifted, the decision seemed prudent and compassionate.

Yet some in Congress only heard part of the president’s remarks today. He said he intends to keep pressuring the Cubans to improve human rights and that the Havana government must allow people to express themselves freely. Did I hear the president correctly on that? I believe so.

Why didn’t Rubio and Bush hear it? Oh, that’s right. One is a probable candidate for president and the other, Rubio, might jump in, too.

An upcoming political campaign appears to be hard on politicians’ hearing.


Who's going to jump in '16?

It’s getting fun watching the prospective candidates for president in 2016 start hedging whether they’re actually going to make the plunge.

The latest apparently is Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who might run for the Republican nomination in two years.


Rubio says his decision won’t depend on whether former Florida Gov.Jeb Bush decides to run. Rubio says he hasn’t talked to the former governor, but the fact that he’s talking about it at all suggests — to me, at least — that he’s got Jeb on his radar.

So, let’s ponder these other possibilities:

* U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says he likely won’t run if his 2012 Republican presidential nominee running mate Mitt Romney jumps in. No word from Romney what he plans to do if Ryan goes ahead with a run.

* Vice President Joe Biden likely will consider backing out of the Democratic contest if former senator, former secretary of state and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton decides to go for it.

* Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas wants to seek the GOP nomination, but will he go if another talkative Texan, lame-duck Gov. Rick Perry jumps into the race?

* And is Perry going to make the leap if Cruz decides it’s his time to run?

Of all the fascinating what-ifs to ponder, I’m interested mostly in the Texas two-step that might play out between Perry and Cruz.

Perry’s been to the well once already. He flamed out badly before the first primary took place in New Hampshire. He’s trying to re-craft his brand. Cruz is the still-quite-new junior senator from Texas who entered the upper congressional chamber in January 2013 with his mouth blazing away. He hasn’t shut his trap since.

Both of these guys have never seen a TV camera they didn’t like. Cruz is especially enamored of the sound of his voice and the appearance of his face on TV.

It’s going to be tough for both of them to run for president, each trying to outflank the other on the right wing of their already-extreme right-wing party.

Who will jump in first? And will the other one back away?

And what about Ryan and Romney, Biden and Clinton, and Rubio and Bush?

This is going to get tense.

'R-word' surfaces yet again

There goes that pesky “R-word” being bandied about as politicians debate the presidency of Barack Obama.

The latest uttering of it came from former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who used to be a Republican but now is running for his old office — as a Democrat.

Why did he leave the Grand Old Party?

Crist says it is because too many Republicans just can’t stomach the idea of an African-American serving as president of the United States. He calls those critics racist.


Is it true? Is Crist correct to assert that GOP criticism of Obama is based mostly — if not solely — on the fact that his father was a black African and his mother was a white Kansan?

Crist leveled a pretty heavy barrage against his former party in a TV interview. “They’re perceived now as being anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-environment,” he said of Republicans.

Crist told interviewer Jorge Ramos he couldn’t tolerate that kind of view. So he switched parties.

Republicans, not surprisingly, say Crist left the party to become an independent initially because he couldn’t beat GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in the 2010 election. Again, I cannot know someone’s motives.

Crist, though, is speaking aloud about a chronic, nagging problem that is dogging the Republican Party. Are Obama critics fueled by racism? At the very least, is the president’s racial background factoring at some level into the intensity of the criticism being leveled at him?

I haven’t a clue. The issue, though, is worth a thorough national discussion.

Bring it on.