Rubio's party loyalty is clear: GOP not tea

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Range Rover, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. Posted on Sun, Nov. 07, 2010
    Rubio's party loyalty is clear: GOP not tea

    Herald/Times Staff Writers

    When a French TV station set out to understand the American phenomenon known as the tea party, it sent a reporter to Florida, down a dusty country road, past a bug-swarmed pond, and into a Pasco County pasture filled with people waving American flags.
    It was Oct. 30, three days before Election Day. The crowd had come to Hallelujah Acres Ranch to hear Republican Senate nominee Marco Rubio, frequently hailed -- and claimed -- as one of the tea party's biggest success stories.

    But the typically unflappable candidate seemed uncomfortable with the French reporter's questions about his tea party ties, as he did when an admirer asked him to autograph a tea party banner.

    If the tea party is expecting Rubio to plant its yellow ``Don't Tread on Me'' flag in the hallowed Senate chamber, it's in for a letdown. This career politician who once carried the state party's American Express card defines himself first and foremost as a Republican.

    Rubio's pollster, Whit Ayers, tactfully put it this way: ``I think he'll carry the banner for hopeful and optimistic conservatism and whoever wants to follow that banner is welcome to join.''


    Rubio has already made it clear that he will not be a rogue senator. One day after the election, he declared his support for the GOP establishment when he said he looked forward to serving under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. He didn't mention Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina, viewed as the more ideologically pure conservative and alternative power center, who championed Rubio's campaign early on.

    Two days later, McConnell tapped Rubio to deliver the weekly GOP address.

    Rubio, 39, struck a pragmatic tone at the post-election news conference held in Miami, saying Republicans and Democrats have to work together to tackle big, immediate problems like the national debt and the war in Afghanistan. He did not launch salvos at President Barack Obama, as he usually does, and said he would reach out to Florida's Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

    ``Early on in the primary, a conservative group of passionate, well-intentioned people coincided with his beliefs and somehow he got this tea party label, which I don't think is totally representative,'' said Republican fundraiser Jorge Arrizurieta.

    ``Did he embrace and receive the support of the tea party? Absolutely,'' Arrizurieta said. ``But will he move away from being a real Republican candidate? No way.''

    Tea party leaders still claim Rubio as their own. Among Florida voters, 39 percent said they supported the tea party movement. Rubio got 86 percent of that group.

    ``He had a great campaign, a great staff, but if it hadn't been for the tea party, he wouldn't have had the opportunity to win. The tea party gave him exposure,'' said Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the South Florida Tea Party.

    ``The movement,'' he added, ``is looking at Marco to fight for us.''


    Without a doubt, Rubio owes some of his success to the tea party. A year ago when he was down 30 points in the polls in the Republican primary behind Gov. Charlie Crist and shunned by the GOP establishment, Rubio found an eager audience at tea party rallies. His fiery rhetoric about the direction of the country hit the right notes.

    ``I am here today as a fellow American whose parents were born in a country that lost itself to socialism,'' the Cuban-American Rubio said in West Palm Beach on April 15, 2009. ``My parents lost their country to a government; I will not lose mine to a government.''

    He railed about a multi-trillion dollar national debt said the country's children will pay ``by being taxed into the third world.'' The crowd mobbed him with applause.

    As the economy continued to falter and anger over Obama's agenda grew, Rubio's profile grew along with the tea party. The New York Times made a statement when it put Rubio on its Sunday magazine cover with the headline ``The First Senator From the Tea Party?''

    Countless news outlets took the cue. It's no surprise the French reporter picked Rubio to follow, and no surprise that nearly 300 media outlets showed up in Miami for his victory celebration.

    But Rubio has long been an insider, involved in Republican Party politics since college, a state legislator who became speaker of the House at age 35, and the scion of former Gov. Jeb Bush. He's perhaps the nation's most successful candidate at bridging the gap between the conservative establishment and the grassroots.

    ``He understands and appreciates the job of leadership,'' said Dan Murphy, of the BGR Group lobbying firm in Washington, which hosted fundraisers for Rubio.

    ``He'll remember the people who helped bring him to the dance, but as a former speaker of a big body, he'll have a better appreciation of how to push his agenda by working with leadership, without marginalizing yourself and being way out there on the fringe,'' Murphy said. ``He may be the most sophisticated member of the tea party to arrive in Washington.''

    Being branded as a tea party politician has its risks. The movement fueled a national debate on government spending but also spawned unconventional ideas like repealing the 17th Amendment and taking the election of U.S. senators out of hands of voters and back into the hands of state legislatures. To some in the tea party, government is not just out of control. It is the enemy. Big rallies outside the U.S. Capitol brought strident calls to action and more than a few signs with Obama wearing a Hitler moustache.

    Rubio occasionally joined the political fray, once refusing to denounce those who questioned Obama's citizenship and expressing doubt about the science of global warming. But as his campaign took off, he attended fewer tea party events and skipped a big tea party convention in Nashville in February.

    Rubio had an opportunity to cozy up to tea party darling and former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, but his campaign never emphasized her support.

    ``Marco, keep up the good work. Call me. Can I help ya?'' Palin told a conservative blogger who asked about Rubio at a conservative gathering in New Orleans in April.

    He never did.

    In the final stretch of the campaign, when it was clear he would win, Rubio showed up to a big rally in Orlando featuring Palin. But he left before she came on stage, denying opponents a photograph that could be used against him in the future.

    Over the months, Rubio developed a line that neither attached nor distanced himself from the movement, the balancing act of a practiced politician.

    ``The tea party is an expression of that widespread sentiment in America that Washington, D.C., is broken,'' Rubio would say, ``that both parties are to blame and they want leaders who will put America back on the right track.''


    As he campaigned across the vote-rich Interstate 4 corridor in the final week of the campaign, Rubio was greeted by big and small crowds, from 700 in Sarasota to a few dozen in Clearwater. By far, the people who showed up were mainstream Republicans.

    Vicky Kiburz was one of the few tea party activists to attend a Rubio rally in Palm Harbor, waving a giant tea party flag to passersby on U.S. 19 as others waved Rubio campaign signs.

    ``I think he has a good enough grasp of how the process is conducted, but at the same time has a real clear concept of what we want,'' she said. ``The tea party doesn't need a bunch of bomb throwers. We understand that.''

    Rubio continued to toss out his usual anti-Obama-stimulus-health-care lines but also said the GOP has to stand for something other than just the opposition.

    ``We're going to have to come together and solve some pretty major issues really quickly,'' he said in Clearwater on Nov. 1. ``We're going to have to work hard if we want to save Social Security and Medicare. We're going to have to work together to bring this debt under control.''

    With that, Rubio climbed back into his chartered jet and was gone.

    St. Petersburg Times staff writer Angie Drobnic Holan contributed to this report. Beth Reinhard can be reached at Alex Leary can be reached at

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  2. The tea party will be taken over by big money special interest just just like the republican party was
  3. Mnphats


    Unlike that of the Dems?

  4. Lucrum


    Aren't you the same guy who predicted Pelosi would run for and win the White House in 2016?

    How's that looking so far?
  5. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    rubio is going to be a TRUE republican conservative, which, incidentally, is exactly what the tea party stands for.

    you sure are crying a lot about this.
  6. I never said Pelosi would run and win in 2016
  7. Lucrum


    My mistake, one of your libtard buddies made that prediction.
  8. A good read on Rubio and the race card that libs loves to play. But unfortunately for them and all the racially challenged libtards here, they keep smacking their faces against the wall of reality:

    By Their Own Standards, Dems Racist When It Comes to Hispanics
    The Democrats' pattern of blocking Hispanics for not being "the right kind of Hispanic" is undeniable.
    November 8, 2010 - by Chris Salcedo

    Conservatives warned liberals of the dangers of playing the race card too often without substantiation. But with the election of President Obama, progressives went crazy.

    Every time conservatives opposed our inexperienced president on policy, progressive pundits were quick to dismiss the objections as a simple expression of conservatives’ supposed distaste for an African-American president. Recall how Karen Hunter, MSNBC contributor, described challenges to the Obama agenda? “Post-Traumatic First African-American President Syndrome.”

    Even the Daily Show lampooned the excessive use of the race card, declaring it “maxed out.”

    Well, if by liberalism’s standards the act of objecting to a person of color on policy is tantamount to racism, then Americans now have clear evidence that progressives are racist toward Hispanics.

    Democrats, through Bill Clinton and reportedly the White House, conspired to defeat a conservative Latino in a Senate race in Florida. The liberals in charge of the Democrat Party tried to convince their candidate, Kendrick Meek (an African-American), to drop out of that race so that the linguini-spined Charlie Crist would have a shot at beating Marco Rubio.

    The message, largely ignored by the press, was that Marco Rubio could not be allowed to win because he was the wrong kind of Hispanic.

    His family fled the left-wing utopia of Cuba. Thus, he had too much knowledge about where liberal policies lead. Worse yet, for liberals, he could articulate his family’s experience with the destructive results of leftist policies.

    Liberals knew he had to be stopped, and thus were willing to throw an African-American under the bus in favor of the white guy who had been a Republican five minutes ago.

    It wasn’t so much the man that liberals were trying to defeat, though Rubio is a magnificent candidate and will be a great senator. It was the idea that Rubio represents: he puts an exclamation point on the fact that not all Latinos believe in open borders and the welfare state. He shatters the narrative that liberals have worked for decades to craft. Now, not only will white America know that not all Latinos are liberal, Hispanics will now see their traditional conservative values displayed by a man that has an (R) next to his name. Rubio is something the Democrats have long feared: a conservative role model for the Latino community.

    Sadly, this isn’t the first time liberals have conspired to keep Hispanics out of high office to maintain a narrative.

    In 2001 and 2002, President Bush — the Republican who appointed the first African-American secretary of state, the first African-American female secretary of state, and the first Hispanic attorney general of the United States — was busy trying to fulfill his duties under the Constitution. One of those duties was to appoint judges. In natural course, the opposing party lets the president know what nominees would be acceptable. But outside forces influenced prominent Democrats to filibuster a very qualified Hispanic judge who was up for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia: Miguel Estrada. Leaked memos showed that Senate liberals were working in close consultation with groups like People for the American Way, the Alliance for Justice, NARAL, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in an effort to defeat President Bush’s judicial nominees.

    One memo dated November 7, 2001, from a staffer to Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin described a meeting with the liberal interest groups in which the groups targeted Estrada as:

    Especially dangerous, because he has a minimal paper trail, he is a Latino, and the White House seems to be grooming him for a Supreme Court appointment.

    After two years of active opposition from liberal senators like Durbin and Kennedy, Estrada withdrew his nomination.

    Let there be no ambiguity here: liberal groups and their lap-dog senators targeted Miguel Estrada because he was a Latino.

    And these leftists have the temerity to call conservatives racists? But this incident went largely unreported. The few in the mainstream press who bothered to show a shred of journalistic integrity by asking about the memos bought the senators’ explanation. And that explanation was essentially: “I’m a Democrat, how can I be racist?”

    For the record, conservatives oppose liberal progressive policies regardless of the race of the person pushing them. Liberals say they love and advocate for people of color. That’s true, as long as the people of color are also committed Democrats, ascribe to leftist thought, and believe the only way for success in life is with government help. If you are a conservative, they call you all kinds of delightful names like, “Oreo,” “Uncle Tom,” “Coconut,” or my favorite: “race-traitor.”

    The liberal message is: “If you wander off the victimhood reservation, don’t bother looking to us for support.” The left has used and abused the race card to stifle debate for decades. And it seems their loud advocacy as “race-warriors” was to compensate for and hide their own deep-seated racism.

    Progressives support so-called minorities only if they are the “right kind” of minority.
  9. Hello


    Excellent article, spot on.