Rubio: “The President is absolutely absent from this debate”

posted at 10:55 am on March 10, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

When the going gets tough, the tough get going … to Russia. Marco Rubio appeared on the Jimmy Cefalo Show this morning to discuss the budget votes over the last two days and the lack of leadership in the fiscal crisis. Rubio, in his normal calm and reasonable manner, scoffed at the notion that Democrats take any of it seriously. “The bill they [Democrats] offered as an alternative to the House bill only cut six billion dollars in spending,” Rubio tells Cefalo. “That’s really what we’re borrowing in one day. By noon today, we will have borrowed half of that.” Rubio goes on to lay the blame at the feet of the President:

Now the conversation’s not a serious one yet. … And here’s what’s missing in all of this, and I don’t mean to be overly partisan, the President is absolutely absent from this debate. He is nowhere to be found. He refuses to engage. This is a President that as a Senator, as a candidate, and early on in his presidency, repeatedly said that he was going to make the tough choices, get involved, get engaged, deal with this pressing issue that faces our country. He has completely disengaged from this issue, and he assigned Joe Biden to negotiate it for him, and then sent Joe Biden to Russia.

During the 2008 campaign, Obama’s opponents often referred to his 130+ votes as “present” in the state legislature to argue that he won’t bother to get involved in tough issues, as well as his unremarkable half a term in the US Senate. It certainly seems that Obama has become President Present in this budget debate, although perhaps it is more accurate to call him President Not Present, under the circumstances.


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What a strange leader Obama is. He wants to be above it all. He doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.

Paul-Cincy on March 10, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Once an Empty Suit, always an Empty Suit. Our first “Affirmative Action President”. Unprecedented.

GarandFan on March 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM

He’s the President in absentia.

BobMbx on March 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM

OT but important:

DHS Chief Napolitano says she was not aware of agency’s link to ATF “gun running”

Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano today said she knew nothing of her agency’s possible involvement in a controversial ATF operation called “Fast and Furious.”

In that operation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allegedly intentionally allowed vast numbers of assault weapons to fall into the hands of Mexico’s drug cartels. Insiders call it letting guns “walk.”

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Immigration Agent Jaime Zapata were gunned down in separate incidents involving suspected Mexican drug cartel members. Two AK-47 assault-type variant rifles that ATF had recorded as having let “walk” nearly a year before were found at the murder scene of Terry.

Insert witty screen name here on March 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM

It certainly seems that Obama has become President Present in this budget debate, although perhaps it is more accurate to call him President Not Present, under the circumstances.

he is quite a dichotomy.

ted c on March 10, 2011 at 10:59 AM

then sent Joe Biden to Russia.

YES!!!!

What? He’s back?

Rats.

tree hugging sister on March 10, 2011 at 11:01 AM

I guess when Obama said he was bringing “change” to Washington, the change was that the President would no longer be involved in debate at any level.

That and he was going to change the amount of time the President would spend on the links.

Nethicus on March 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

He’s keeping the seat in the Oval Office warm for President Palin.

WordsMatter on March 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

During the 2008 campaign, Obama’s opponents often referred to his 130+ votes as “present” in the state legislature to argue that he won’t bother to get involved in tough issues, as well as his unremarkable half a term in the US Senate.

Yep, he quit his job halfway thru his term.

Just like Sarah Palin.

Do I detect a double standard here?

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

SEN Rubio illuminates the genesis of a strawman argument. The White House, and the POTUS in particular, will use this as a way to frame an argument. For example, “there are those who say that we have not been engaged, but, let me be clear, we’ve been on fiscal responsibility from day one while the republicans yada yada yada….”

This is what Mr. Obama meant during the BP Oil Spill when he said that he had to look around in order to find someone’s ass to kick. He gets to be ‘not present’ on an important issue, then he reframes the debate later with a strawman, and lies about all that he’s done on the issue during the interim that the original argumenter failed to recognize.

organizin’ takes tiiiime.

ted c on March 10, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Now, tell me again why this guy wasn’t on George F. Nojeans ‘A’ list?

Knott Buyinit on March 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Maybe Obama is absent because he’s too busy mobilizing his union thugs to riot in Wisconsin.

IronDioPriest on March 10, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Good point Rubio…….now whatcha gonna do about?

Unimpressed (so far) with a younger more tanned Bush!

PappyD61 on March 10, 2011 at 11:05 AM

“Making decisions about anything is above my paygrade.”

-PBHO

Bishop on March 10, 2011 at 11:05 AM

It is actually pretty scary that the leader of the free world doesn’t want to get involved in something as trivial as producing a budget. I hope nothing serious pops up in the middle east or something.

Mord on March 10, 2011 at 11:06 AM

That’s my guy! Go get ‘em Marco!

ornery_independent on March 10, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Del, you should come home. Your powerlineforum buddies are gathered, and missing you. ;^)

IronDioPriest on March 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

He’s keeping the seat in the Oval Office warm for President Palin.

Obama has already assigned that job to The First Lady.

Emperor Norton on March 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

Our “Present” President is an empty suit.

DuctTapeMyBrain on March 10, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Del, you should come home. Your powerlineforum buddies are gathered, and missing you. ;^)

IronDioPriest on March 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I’ll second that

Roy Rogers on March 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM

And here’s what’s missing in all of this, and I don’t mean to be overly partisan, the President is absolutely absent from this debate. He is nowhere to be found. He refuses to engage.

Don’t apologize for being partisan, Marco. Conservatives sent you to DC for that express purpose. Otherwise they would’ve saved their time and money and just let Chuck Crist win the seat.

As for Barry being disengaged, what else is new? He voted present 130 times as an Illinois State Senator. He handed Porkulus and Obamacare over to Pelosi and Reid and let them craft the legislation. And he refused to even speak to Mitch McConnell for over a year and a half after being inaugurated.

It’s not just that Obama’s a rigid ideologue. It’s that he genuinely seems to have no interest in doing his job. He doesn’t mind the speeches and campaign stops and TV interviews. He has no problem signing key pieces of legislation into law and claiming full credit for them. And we know for damn sure he never hesitates to enjoy the perks of being President. But anytime an issue or situation arises that requires he lead or make a tough decision, he pulls a Claude Rains and disappears from the scene.

Doughboy on March 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I have yet to see PBHO engage on any issue. He has czars and spokespeople and issues statements and strongly worded letters. That seems about all he’s capable of. Although why this surprises anyone I don’t know. It would be a major story if he actually DID something. I mean besides throw parties and golf.

hboulware on March 10, 2011 at 11:11 AM

During the 2008 campaign, Obama’s opponents often referred to his 130+ votes as “present” in the state legislature to argue that he won’t bother to get involved in tough issues, as well as his unremarkable half a term in the US Senate.

Yep, he quit his job halfway thru his term.

Just like Sarah Palin.

Do I detect a double standard here?

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Only partially like Palin. She had pretty much completed her four-year agenda in two years, and set up succession to continue her agenda. President Present/Not Present couldn’t even take a position on at least 130 issues that his peers deemed worthy of a vote.

He’s more like President Dereliction-of-Duty, IMO.

ornery_independent on March 10, 2011 at 11:13 AM

@ted c – FIFY

he is quite a dichotomy dichtome.

Bigurn on March 10, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Del, you should come home. Your powerlineforum buddies are gathered, and missing you. ;^)

IronDioPriest on March 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I’ll second that

Roy Rogers on March 10, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Are they allowing posts yet? All I can see is that I have to be on Facebook to post there, but I strictly restrict my Facebook page to non political stuff only.

The only reason I stopped posting there was because they disabled their old comment format.

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Good point Rubio…….now whatcha gonna do about?

Unimpressed (so far) with a younger more tanned Bush!

PappyD61 on March 10, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Give him a break Pappy…he’s only been in there for TWO months. He’s still learning the ropes, and hasn’t even found the pool on the roof that a senior member has surely sold him a pass to get in.

ornery_independent on March 10, 2011 at 11:16 AM

DHS Chief Napolitano says she was not aware of agency’s link to ATF “gun running”

The funny thing is, she said the operation was run by the Justice Department. But BATF is under Treasury, so what the hell is Justice doing telling them what to do?

Socratease on March 10, 2011 at 11:17 AM

What a strange leader Obama is. He wants to be above it all. He doesn’t want to get his hands dirty.

Paul-Cincy on March 10, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Here’s a possible solution.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/03/028558.php

a capella on March 10, 2011 at 11:18 AM

“B-b-b-b-but HE QUOTES NIEBUHR!!!!!

CDeb on March 10, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Democrats,

Your leaders are a joke, an absolute joke. Social security, medicare, and medicaid are trillions in the hole and your elected representatives are doing nothing. Each day that ticks by makes the inevitable solution more painful. Your president is doing nothing positive. Even his public speech, which sounds positive, is not followed by single action.
 
What do you say is the answer to this mess? “Raise taxes!” Stealing the fruits of other’s labor to support your continued vacation for the reality or to appease your guilt for doing nothing for the poor is not a recipe for success.
 
What do you call it when you take the fruit of someone’s labor and give back to them what you see fit? I call it slavery. Somehow, in your twisted logic, when the government does it, it is somehow different.
 
Signed,
Taxpayer tired of supporting liberal stupidity

ClanDerson on March 10, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Ladies and Gentlemen…The Presentdent of the United States.

Rocks on March 10, 2011 at 11:21 AM

President Present/Not Present couldn’t even take a position on at least 130 issues that his peers deemed worthy of a vote.

Well, there was one issue he engaged on and both argued strongly and voted to defend his position on it: He protected abortion doctors from being prosecuted for negligent homicide for leaving live-birth babies exposed on a shelf until they died.

Socratease on March 10, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Only partially like Palin. She had pretty much completed her four-year agenda in two years, and set up succession to continue her agenda.

ornery_independent on March 10, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Well put. Unfortunately, this explanation does not fit nicely onto a bumper sticker, nor can it be recited in less than 8 seconds; so the great Undecideds out there won’t get it.

CurtZHP on March 10, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Then why did Rubio settle for just 60 billion in cuts? Why wasn’t he up there w/ Rand Paul demanding more? Nice try Marco but you have yet to show any real leadership on this or any issue for that matter. Get out there and fight! I didn’t vote for you to sit there and point fingers. I voted for you to stop the spending madness. Now get to it!

Redneck Woman on March 10, 2011 at 11:23 AM

President Present/Not Present couldn’t even take a position on at least 130 issues that his peers deemed worthy of a vote.

Those were beneath his paygrade.

BobMbx on March 10, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Good for Rubio to point this out. We need more gopers to make this clear tot he people. the POTUS is trying to remain behind the scenes and allow this to be a congress issue. the gop must make Obama engage on this issue. If not he will be allowed to run in 2012 as an “outsider” (not a good term I know but can’t think of a better way to describe it atm) on this issue.

unseen on March 10, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Obama famously pledged to be the most transparent invisible administration in American history…

Ruling through Czars instead of a cabinet and being absent from debates except with regard to unions, campus police and apologies to foreign leaders…

Maybe, Doonesbury can dust off that feather drawing used to depict a lightweight politician an reuse it for President Present. Not going to hold my breath on that one, lol.

Fallon on March 10, 2011 at 11:28 AM

PIMCO dumped its treasury bills, which is akin to voting no confidence in the currency. Maybe if this sort of thing ripples through Wall Street and bubbles up to the Fed, some of it will eventually get through to the WH. It will probably take a panic among his financier donors to get Obama off his keester.

Seth Halpern on March 10, 2011 at 11:30 AM

This is what he’s been doing:

Obama: Bullying should not be inevitable, accepted

The president and first lady Michelle Obama convened a conference on preventing bullying Thursday, seeking to shine a spotlight on an issue that affects millions of young people each year. More than 150 students, parents and educators gathered at the White House to discuss with the Obamas and administration advisers ways they can work together to make schools and communities safer.

“If there’s one goal, it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage,” Obama said.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OBAMA_BULLYING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-03-10-03-03-24

“What I say and what I do are never the same” – PBHO

sicoit on March 10, 2011 at 11:37 AM

PIMCO dumped its treasury bills, which is akin to voting no confidence in the currency. Maybe if this sort of thing ripples through Wall Street and bubbles up to the Fed, some of it will eventually get through to the WH. It will probably take a panic among his financier donors to get Obama off his keester.

Seth Halpern on March 10, 2011 at 11:30 AM

He’d just print whatever we’re short.

fossten on March 10, 2011 at 11:39 AM

If there’s one goal, it’s to dispel the myth that bullying is just a harmless rite of passage,” Obama said.

So, now he’s against Trumka and the unions? /

Fallon on March 10, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Obama isn’t simply and “empty suit” . . . his entire persona is void of anyone or anything that thinks or cares. He’s only in the White House to smile, party and wast the nation’s wealth. Thank you enlightened voters, you really sold us down the sewer this time.

rplat on March 10, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Obama is morphing into Mugabe, to the delight of Carter.

BobMbx on March 10, 2011 at 11:57 AM

The most divisive and indecisive president ever.

scalleywag on March 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Since the nutty professor is usually out golfing or hanging with his celeb friends you can’t expect him to lead on any issue.

This is why we need substitute President Bill Clinton and President-in-Exile Sarah Palin.

Somebody has to mind the store.

DeweyWins on March 10, 2011 at 12:06 PM

And here’s what’s missing in all of this, and I don’t mean to be overly partisan, the President is absolutely absent from this debate. He is nowhere to be found. He refuses to engage

Seems like Obama’s job was to get elected for the various interests who fronted him.

A front man, even one who ascribes to the books bearing his name as author, is there to front his sponsors. His relationship to his sponsors will never be publicly defined, but I assume he is not his own man.

IMHO Obama does not care about the details and unless a sponsor sends him something spelled out, he will avoid the issues and continue to trim the fat from school lunches, and schmooze the base

Golf is a sport which lures the player with a quest for perfection, yet produces little bad copy.

Meanwhile, according to Marx, a capitalist system must be brought to its knees, before the population can be moved to socialism

Rubio is great. However, Rubio may want capitalism to succeed. I give him credit for giving Obama credit.

He refuses to engage. This is a President that as a Senator, as a candidate, and early on in his presidency, repeatedly said that he was going to make the tough choices, get involved, get engaged, deal with this pressing issue that faces our country

Rubio politely gives Obama the rhetorical benefit of the doubt, as if the tough choices were saving the economy, defending the US from outside threat etc.

The tough choices for Obama, were likely a completely different list. How to balance sponsors wish lists. How to pull off funding off shore drilling in Brazil. How to get the price of gas higher. How to stop the Black Panther voting rights prosecution. How to buy off entire States for Obamacare. etc

Right now, Rubio is saying the fat lady wont stop singing. Rubio is great. I like his discrete style of blunt speech

entagor on March 10, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I agree, Mr. Rubio, but you sir are also absent. You’ve been in hiding since the election, looking to make deals, no doubt.

Do you come out against raising the debt ceiling? No
Do you come out against the goonion tactics in WI, IN, and OH? No!
Do you come out for the validity of the House Homeland Security hearings on jihad radicalization inside the US? No.
Do you denounce the administration for running afoul of federal rulings nullifying Obamacare and declaring the drilling moratorium illegal? NO, you do not!

Rubio, Screwbio, you’re a tool. An appeaser, a capo of the backbencher elite.

All beware Rubio. A fraud like McConnell, Kris Krispycreme, Daniels, Huckafraud, Gingpoor, and the entire cowardly RNC.

Western_Civ on March 10, 2011 at 12:12 PM

Of all the GOP candidates for POTUS…

Rubio is the one that can win.

booter on March 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

LOL, just saw the box score from the NBA game O’bama hosted the party for last night-it was close for 3 quarters but then turned into a Bulls blowout.

Wonder what they were eating?

Del Dolemonte on March 10, 2011 at 12:27 PM

only those who paid no attention or ignored his past are surprised.

Alden Pyle on March 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

Not even voting “present” any more…

Scrappy on March 10, 2011 at 12:41 PM

No surprise here, little Bammie never had a real job until becoming president. He loves the title and all the honors and benefits, but as with any position he has ever held, or degree he was ever awarded, he doesn’t really want to do any work. He is a profoundly lazy man.

slickwillie2001 on March 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Presentident Obama!

mydh12 on March 10, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Worst
President
Ever

John the Libertarian on March 10, 2011 at 1:00 PM

PIMCO dumped its treasury bills, which is akin to voting no confidence in the currency. Maybe if this sort of thing ripples through Wall Street and bubbles up to the Fed, some of it will eventually get through to the WH. It will probably take a panic among his financier donors to get Obama off his keester.

Seth Halpern on March 10, 2011 at 11:30 AM

It’s OK. According to reports yesterday, the President of the Dallas Branch of the Federal Reserve said that if inflation starts taking off the Fed will jump in immediately to stomp it out by printing more dollars.

Yep that’s the ticket! Oh, wait – that’d suit President Present just fine since it would be a stealth tax income increase. Ta da! Another fiscal policy change completed without all those messy hearings, bills, votes and what not – just tell the guys at the Fed what you need and zammo you get it nice ‘n clean with none of your fingerprints on it. Sweet.

in_awe on March 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Nice to finally hear from Rubio. I contributed to his campaign from out of state and all I’ve heard so far from him is *crickets*. He needs to be standing side by side with Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Jim DeMint and putting actions behind words.

parteagirl on March 10, 2011 at 1:45 PM

It certainly seems that Obama has become President Present in this budget debate, although perhaps it is more accurate to call him President Not Present, under the circumstances.

Schadenfreude on March 10, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Hey Marco, I don’t call him Commander Zero for nothing. As well as the Empty Suit, Comrade Obamalinsky, President Maobama, the Missing Village Idiot in Mombassa,etc…

If anyone wants to contribute to this list, please, feel free……

adamsmith on March 10, 2011 at 2:23 PM

No surprise here, little Bammie never had a real job until becoming president. He loves the title and all the honors and benefits, but as with any position he has ever held, or degree he was ever awarded, he doesn’t really want to do any work. He is a profoundly lazy man.

slickwillie2001 on March 10, 2011 at 12:46 PM

The nugget of good news here, IMO, and it is a small nugget, is that once we throw the lazy bum out of Office, he will just go away forever and just play with himself.

ornery_independent on March 10, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Sorry Rubio, don’t buy it. What is in the audio is nothing but Congress passing the buck. For all purposes Obama is superfluous to this debate. Congress alone controls the purse strings. If cuts are needed, be a leader Rubio and get out in front of this. Don’t dish it off to the 2nd stringer in the White House….

Dr. Dog on March 10, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Present in absentia.

Tzetzes on March 10, 2011 at 7:28 PM

To get the President and Democrats attention I propose a 15% across the board cut. A $2.8 trillion budget would be reduced by $420 Billion still a drop in the bucket but it would be a better start than 61 Billion.

old war horse on March 11, 2011 at 2:11 AM